Designing for Learning in VR: Moving Beyond the Novelty Effect
Meredith Thompson, Annie Wang, Dan Roy, Philip Tan, Rik Eberhardt, Judy Perry, Eric Klopfer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Figure 1. Fall 201 7 Explorer (VR) view of the cell
Collaborative Learning Environments in Virtual
Reality (CLEVR) project
ØCellverse –cell structure, function, DNA ->
RNA -> Protein
ØEmbodied learning through interaction with
cell (Kiefer & Trum pp , 2012)
ØCross platform –Explorer in VR, Navigator on
ØCollaborative -Role and resource
interdependence (Laal, 2013)
ØDesign-based research approach, (DBRC,
Ø“Top down” and “bottom up” approach to
ensure quality (Kuril ovas, 2016).
This poster describes how we
learn from top down and bottom
up feedback for designing an
educational game using VR.
Design-Based Research Collective. (2003). Design-based research: An emerging paradigm for educational inquiry. Educational Resea rcher, 32(1), 5-8.
Kurilovas, E. (2016). Evaluation of quality and personalisationof VR/AR/MR learning systems. Behaviour & Information Technology, 35(11), 998-1007.
Kiefer, M. T., & Trumpp, M., N. (2012). Embodiment theory and education: The foundations of cognition in perception and action. Tre nds in
Neuroscience and Education, 1(1), 15–20. http://doi.org/10. 1016/J.TINE.2012.07.002
Laal, M. (2013). Positive interdependence in collaborative learning. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 1433-1437.
Chart 1.De sign process overview.
TOP DOWN: Subject matter experts
Subject matter experts (SMEs, N=14) have given us:
ØOngoing feedback on the cellular environment
ØInput on cutting edge tools available to scientists
ØMost current knowledge of cystic fibrosis
ØAuthentic is challenging -science continually changes
BOTTOM UP: User Testing
Our preliminary results suggest four advantages of VR.
ØVR helps users’ understandings of size, scale, and spatial orientation of
organelles in cells.
ØVR and tablet can establish division of roles; however additional scaffolding
of rules and resources is needed to create interdependence.
ØExperts noted that VR created more accurate cell representations than text
ØEducators no ted that the ga me enables stu dents to use th eir knowledge
about cells in context.
ØEven b eyond nove lty, experts and edu cators see added va lue in V R models.
Our next focus will be on working with educators to integrate into after school
and in school contexts.
Figure 3. Summer 2018 Explorer (VR) view of the cell
Figure 4. Summer 2018 Navigator (tablet) view of the cell
Figure 2. Winter 2018 Navigator (tablet) view of the
Ongoing user testing (N=49) has helped us:
ØUnderstand locomotion in an unfamiliar environment in
ØRefine h ow users inte ract with o rganelles
ØDocument understanding of size, scale, within cells
ØInform how to create rules, roles, and resources for
collaboration b etween the Navigator and Exp lorer
Game narrative sketches
User Tester Type
Tes te rs
Undergraduate Students 3
Graduate Students 10
Middle/High School Students 2
Middle/High School Educators 17
Researcher s, Scientists 6
Tot al Us er Tes te r s 49
Contact: Meredith Thompson
We acknowledgeOculus for supporting this