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Investigating learners’ motivation towards a virtual reality learning environment: a pilot study in vehicle painting

Investigating learners’ motivation towards a virtual
reality learning environment: a pilot study in vehicle
1st Miriam Mulders
University of Duisburg Essen Learning
Essen, Germany
AbstractThe HandleVR project develops a Virtual Reality
(VR) training based on the 4C/ID model [1] to train vocational
competencies in the field of vehicle painting. The paper presents
the results of a pilot study with fourteen aspirant vehicle painters
who tested two prototypical tasks in VR and evaluated its
suitability, i.a. regarding their learning motivation. The results
indicate that VR training is highly motivating and some aspects
(e.g., a virtual trainer) in particular promote motivation. Further
research is needed to take advantage of these positive motivational
effects to support meaningful learning.
Keywordsvirtual reality, motivation, immersive learning
Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are increasingly promoted
as a promising educational tool in diverse training settings [2],
[3]. They offer a variety of exciting and enjoyable learning
experiences and can elevate learners’ situational interest and
motivation more than conventional learning media [4]-[8].
Immersive environments create a sense of presence, which
motivates the learners to pay attention to the content, thereby
causing the learner to process the material more deeply and
persisting throughout the entire learning session, which can lead
to better learning outcomes than other learning media [9]-[11].
The purpose of this pilot study is to explore, which aspects
of VR learning environments, designed according to an
instructional design model, are stimulating learning and which
aspects are less motivating. First, I will introduce the construct
motivation, following its importance in the context of VR
learning environments. Subsequently, the underlying VR
learning environment, methods, and results of the pilot study
building upon it will be explained. Finally, I will identify factors
within VR learning environments that influence motivation and
that should be considered when conceptualizing highly
motivating and meaningful learning scenarios.
A. Motivation
Motivation is defined as an internal state or condition that
activates, guides, maintains, or directs behavior [12]. This
psychological factor has found to affect learning effectiveness
by many researchers [13]-[18]. High motivation is associated
1The HandLeVR research project is funded by the Federal Minister of Education and
Research with partners from the University of Potsdam, the University of Duisburg-
Essen, ZWH e.V. and Mercedes Benz.
with situational interest. According to the interest theory [19],
[20], situational interest can stimulate and boost individual
motivation to learn [21]-[23]. Those who are highly motivated
are more likely to engage, put in more effort to understand the
learning material, and be resilient when overcoming obstacles in
understanding [21], [24]. A high level of motivation may cause
the learner to stay focused and invest more cognitive resources
to difficult parts of the task.
B. Motivation within VR learning environments
In VR learning environments, motivation is a potentially
important but an understudied factor. However, some studies
have already shown that VR learning applications can spark
situational interest and trigger a high level of motivation [25],
[26]. Further studies pointed to a positive correlation between
motivation and learning effectiveness [27]-[29]. Some research
is focused on specific aspects of VR learning environments that
trigger motivation. Next to motivating effects through the
realism of the scene, dynamic displays, and close-loop
interaction [29], physical interaction facilitates the learning
motivation [30]. Incorporating an intelligent feedback system
for progress will boost learner’s self-efficacy as well, which
would in turn enhance motivation [11]. Other studies reported
that a strong impact on motivation can be obtained through a
virtual learning companion or teacher, that provides constructive
feedback, shows sensitivity and interest to the individual
learning progress, and displays enthusiasm when achieving
good results and disappointment when failing [10], [31], [32].
Thus, [33] noted that lifelike, interactive digital characters,
serving as mentors and role-playing actors, have been shown to
significantly improve learner motivation and retention.” (p.75).
A. VR research project
In the research project HandLeVR 1, a highly validated
instructional design model, namely the 4C/ID model [1], is
applied to enable competence-based training in the field of
vehicle painting resulting in the “VR-painting shop”. The model
was originally developed to train complex cognitive skills and
provide instructional principles to design effective training
programs. It focuses on four principles of meaningful learning.
“Learning tasks” (1) imply that learners should train whole and
authentic tasks with rising complexity over time. In HandLeVR,
2020 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR)
978-1-7281-7463-1/20/$31.00 ©2020 IEEE
DOI 10.1109/AIVR50618.2020.00081
this was achieved by implementing customer orders which are
taken from a German company for car painting. Furthermore,
the training of vehicle painters inherently requires a considerable
amount of instructions and feedback regarding correct
procedures and strategies as well as motion sequences.
Procedures and strategies are addressed by the principle of
“supportive information” (2), which supports schema
struction and the development of mental models.
HandLeVR, these information units were presented by oral or
written statements of a human virtual trainer, by slide shows
(e.g., about safety at work), by tables (e.g., about performance
criteria) and by short videos (e.g., a trainer explains how to
prepare work pieces). Motion sequences are addressed by the
principle of “just-in-time-information” (3), which provides
context-specific information and corrective feedback during
task execution. In HandLeVR,just-in-time-information” is
provided by tools indicating the right motions during the
painting process (e.g., a beam that displays the distance to the
workpiece, see figure 1).
Last, the 4C/ID model offers
guidelines for “part-task practice” (4) for highly routine tasks.
“Part-task practice” is particularly important in vehicle painting
as the training of correct and smooth hand-eye-body-
coordination. In HandLeVR, additional training opportunities
with simplified rectangular workpieces are incorporated. After
each learning task, the apprentices receive feedback on their
performance in the form of individual performance parameters
(e.g., paint consumption) and in the form of a heat map, which
shows the coating thickness on the workpiece in color (see
figure 2).
Fig. 1. Paint booth with a workpiece and the user interface on the wall (left
image) and the current version of the paint gun indicating the right distance
Fig. 2. Heat map of a workp
iece (red: too thick, green: right thickness, blue:
too thin).
B. Pilot Study
Within the pilot study, the first prototype of “VR-painting
shopis evaluated. Therefore, the study aims to investigate the
general motivation due to the VR learning environment as well
as specific aspects of VR learning environment that trigger
learning motivation. We hypothesize that (1) the VR-painting
is in general a highly motivating learning tool and
(2) especially certain instructional principles (e.g., “supportive
information”, “just-in-time-information”, constructive feedback
by an intelligent virtual trainer) increase learning motivation.
Within one and a half years of project work, two prototypical
“learning tasks” were developed for VR according to 4C/ID
model [1]. This was done in cooperation with trainers and
trainees in vehicle painting
. The tasks have been evaluated and
re-developed iteratively. Both “learning tasks” illustrateasingle
layer refinishes on two different workpieces. A permanently
present virtual trainer guides the apprentice through the tasks. In
addition to the painting process itself, “learning tasks” contain
several permanently available „supportive information”,
for preparatory and follow-up activities (e.g., self-made videos
by apprentices about using personal protective equipment).
During the painting process, the apprentice is supported by a
beam indicating the right distance to the workpiece and by
constructive oral and written feedback by the virtual trainer. The
feedback system is adaptive and therefore intelligent. Feedback
is provided individually and depends on the learner's
performance (e.g., visual and acoustic signals in case of errors).
Following the “learning tasks”, simplified training opportunities
with additional support are offered.
In a two-day workshop, aspirant vehicle painters performed
these learning tasks. They work on the tasks alone and
independently without external help. Afterwards, they filled in
some questionnaires and were part of a discussion group. The
participants were fourteen aspirant vehicle painters recruited
from a large training provider near Potsdam, Germany (6
women, ages 17-24, M= 19.14, SD = 2.21).
The paper-based materials consisted of several
questionnaires. The FAM [34] records the current motivation in
learning and performance situations. It consists of four scales
(fear of failure, interest, probability of success, challenge) with
a total of 18 items (e.g., I may not be able to complete the
task.). Within a discussion group, aspirant vehicle painters
were asked to name more and less motivating elements of the
VR-painting shopregarding learning success.
Means and standard deviations of the sample were calculated
(fear of failure: M= 1.97, SD = 0.95; interest: M= 4.36, SD =
1.21 ; challenge: M= 4.95, SD = 0.96 ; probability of success M
= 5.97, SD = 1.01) and compared to different standard values of
non-immersive learning tools [34], [35]. Compared to these
standard values, the
motivation concerning “VR
-painting shop”
is comparable or even higher. Especially the “fear of failure” is
less and the “probability of success” higher, partly more than
one standard deviation. Results of the discussion group revealed
that interaction with the virtual trainer and “supportive
information”, particularly the videos, were helpful and
motivating. Many aspirant vehicle painters emphasized that they
enjoyed communicating and interacting with the virtual trainer
as well as receiving feedback from him. They stated that they
are pleased to meet him again in the further “learning tasks”.
This result is consistent with prior research that stress the
importance of a virtual teacher [31]-[33]. Future VR learning
environments should rely on artificially intelligent trainers to
individually support learners and therefore increase learning
success. “Supportive information” was described as nice
variety through media change” and “refreshingly different”.
nformation” could only partly
motivate learner.
Some of them were described as “confusing” and “overload”.
Just as some “just-in-time-information”, “part-task practice”
was not perceived as a motivating element, but as “monotonous”
and “boring without any additional value for learning”.
Results indicate that the VR-painting shop, designed
according to 4C/ID model
[1], as a training tool for aspirant
vehicle painters offers advantages for learners’ motivation.
Motivation in VR learning environments has not yet been
investigated sufficiently. Therefore, the pilot study points out the
importance of learners’ motivation within the learning process.
Investigating which aspects of VR-painting shopare less or
more motivating, was
difficult. Concluding, a virtual
trainer and additional support in different presentation forms
were perceived as highly motivating, whereas other instructional
principles seem to fail to promote motivation. However, it
should be noted that the first prototypes of the VR-painting
shopwere tested. Unsuccessful attempts to implement
instructional principles could be the reason for missing
motivational effects, too. Furthe
r research is needed to examine
which aspects of a VR learning environment promote
motivation to utilize benefits of a high learning motivation as
high frustration tolerance or high willingness to learn [21], [24].
Therefore, a larger sample, a more sophisticated experimental
design with control groups as well as various VR learning
environments in different training settings are necessary
Additionally, comparisons between inexperienced and
experienced learners as well as long-term studies are needed to
differentiate between initial situational interest triggered by a
new immersive medium (“novelty effect”) [36] and long-lasting
motivation caused by appropriate instructional methods.
Taken together, VR offers a very high potential in education
by making learning more motivating and engaging [37]
Following up on this research, this pilot study has two major
contributions: First, it indicates that training in VR in vocational
education for aspirant vehicle painters is highly motivating.
Second, some elements of the 4C/ID model [1] seem to be
suitable to create motivational learning tasks, especially the
„supportive informationand the virtual trainer. In the future,
we plan to conduct more research projects with more advanced
study designs (e.g., enhanced training applications, a larger
sample, long-term effects) to obtain these motivational benefits
to support meaningful learning.
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... Zahlreiche Studien über den Einsatz immersiver VR in der Bildung brachten bereits positive Ergebnisse hervor, die auf motivierende Vorteile sowie eine Steigerung des situativen Interesses hinweisen (Makransky, Terkildsen, und Mayer 2019;Mulders 2020;Makransky und Petersen 2019;Makransky und Lilleholt 2018;Makransky, Petersen, und Klingenberg 2020;Muntean und Bogusevschi 2019;Chavez und Bayona 2018;Parong und Mayer 2018). Hier kann unter anderem auch der Neuheitseffekt eine Rolle spielen, wobei eine Studie von Huang et al. (2021) herausstellt, dass die Resultate -Förderung von Motivation und Lernen -auch bei steigender Vertrautheit mit dem System nicht abnehmen. ...
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The research on whether Virtual Reality (VR) has a positive effect on student learning and engagement is limited. This study aims to examine what impact VR has on student learning motivation and performance. The study conducted by Wang (2017) revealed that VR had a marginally positive impact on student scores and a strong impact on students’ learning engagement. It indicates that VR provides a small improvement in academic performance and a large improvement in student engagement. The application of VR in libraries focuses on providing the VR tools to learn subjects in STEM and history fields. For oneoff instructional settings, the boost of learning motivation may increase interest in further investigation and retention. For semester-long courses, increased learning motivation may decrease student attrition or “failure” in the information literacy course.
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Lay Description What is currently known about the subject matter Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly being used to deliver learning and training material. One field where the affordances of VR are particularly relevant is in safety training. VR provides the opportunity for trainees to safely act out realistic scenarios where making the right decisions is pivotal and training in real life would otherwise be impractical or impossible. Most studies that investigate the effectiveness of learning with VR do not include behavioural transfer tests. What this paper adds to this research This study used a broad array of assessment methods to evaluate the effectiveness of safety training delivered with three different instructional media: an immersive VR simulation, a desktop VR simulation, and a conventional text‐based safety manual. There were no differences between conventional and VR training on a retention test. The immersive VR group significantly outperformed the conventional group on two behavioural transfer tests, perceived enjoyment, and increase in intrinsic motivation and self‐efficacy. The desktop VR group scored significantly higher than the conventional group on one behavioural transfer test, perceived enjoyment, and increase in intrinsic motivation. The results suggest that behavioural measures of transfer in realistic settings may be necessary to accurately assess the instructional value of VR learning environments.
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This article reports on the complexities of triggering and maintaining interest, a process that is initiated when something catches the attention of a learner. Triggering interest (the initiation of the psychological state of interest) can occur in both earlier and later phases of interest development. However, in this study we focus on this process in earlier phases of interest development. Findings from a study of the activity of eight, Black, inner-city, middle school-age participants in an out-of-school biology workshop are described. We address the identification and generalizability of potential triggers for interest across activities and explore the relationship between triggers for interest and learner characteristics. Taken together, findings from the study suggest that learners do not perceive and respond identically to potential triggers for interest; and that the triggering process is nuanced by particular activity, and the readiness of the learner to respond.
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Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technology allow for potential learning and education applications. For this study, 99 participants were assigned to one of three learning conditions: traditional (textbook style), VR and video (a passive control). The learning materials used the same text and 3D model for all conditions. Each participant was given a knowledge test before and after learning. Participants in the traditional and VR conditions had improved overall performance (i.e. learning, including knowledge acquisition and understanding) compared to those in the video condition. Participants in the VR condition also showed better performance for ‘remembering’ than those in the traditional and the video conditions. Emotion self-ratings before and after the learning phase showed an increase in positive emotions and a decrease in negative emotions for the VR condition. Conversely there was a decrease in positive emotions in both the traditional and video conditions. The Web-based learning tools evaluation scale also found that participants in the VR condition reported higher engagement than those in the other conditions. Overall, VR displayed an improved learning experience when compared to traditional and video learning methods.
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The second edition of the Handbook of Motivation at School presents an integrated compilation of theory and research in the field. With chapters by leading experts, this book covers the major theoretical perspectives in the field as well as their application to instruction, learning, and social adjustment at school. Section I focuses on theoretical perspectives and major constructs, Section II on contextual and social influences on motivation, and Section III on new directions in the field. This new edition will have the same popular organizational structure with theories at the beginning. It will also include new chapters that cover motivation as it relates to identity, culture, test anxiety, mindfulness, neuroscience, parenting, metacognition, and regulatory focus.
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Virtual reality (VR) is projected to play an important role in education by increasing student engagement and motivation. However, little is known about the impact and utility of immersive VR for administering e-learning tools, or the underlying mechanisms that impact learners’ emotional processes while learning. This paper explores whether differences exist with regard to using either immersive or desktop VR to administer a virtual science learning simulation. We also investigate how the level of immersion impacts perceived learning outcomes using structural equation modeling (SEM). The sample consisted of 104 university students (39 females). Significantly higher scores were obtained on 11 of the 13 variables investigated using the immersive VR version of the simulation, with the largest differences occurring with regard to presence and motivation. Furthermore, we identified a model with two general paths by which immersion in VR impacts perceived learning outcomes. Specifically, we discovered an affective path in which immersion predicted presence and positive emotions, and a cognitive path in which immersion fostered a positive cognitive value of the task in line with the control value theory of achievement emotions (CVTAE).
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The goals of the study were (a) to compare the instructional effectiveness of immersive virtual reality (VR) versus a desktop slideshow as media for teaching scientific knowledge, and (b) to examine the efficacy of adding a generative learning strategy to a VR lesson. In Experiment 1, college students viewed a biology lesson about how the human body works either in immersive VR or via a self-directed PowerPoint slideshow on a desktop computer. Based on interest theory, it was predicted that students who learned in immersive VR would report more positive ratings of interest and motivation and would score higher on a posttest covering material in the lesson. In contrast, based on the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, it was predicted that students who learned with a well-designed slideshow would score higher on a posttest, although they might not report higher levels of interest and motivation. The results showed that students who viewed the slideshow performed significantly better on the posttest than the VR group, but reported lower motivation, interest, and engagement ratings. In Experiment 2, students either viewed a segmented VR lesson and produced a written summary after each segment or viewed the original, continuous VR lesson as in Experiment 1. Students who summarized the lesson after each segment performed significantly better on the posttest and the groups did not differ on reported interest, engagement, and motivation. These results support the cognitive theory of multimedia learning and demonstrate the value of generative learning strategies in immersive VR environments.
Motivation is that which moves us to action. Human motivation is thus a complex issue, as people are moved to action by both their evolved natures and by myriad familial, social, and cultural influences. The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation aims to capture the current state-of-the-art in this fast developing field. The book includes theoretical overviews from some of the best-known thinkers in this area, including articles on Social Learning Theory, Control Theory, Self-determination Theory, Terror Management Theory, and the Promotion and Prevention perspective. Topical articles appear on phenomena such as ego-depletion, flow, curiosity, implicit motives, and personal interests. A section specifically highlights goal research, including chapters on goal regulation, achievement goals, the dynamics of choice, unconscious goals and process versus outcome focus. Still other articles focus on evolutionary and biological underpinnings of motivation, including articles on cardiovascular dynamics, mood, and neuropsychology. Finally, articles bring motivation down to earth in reviewing its impact within relationships, and in applied areas such as psychotherapy, work, education, sport, and physical activity.