Learning in the Field: Comparison of Desktop, Immersive Virtual Reality, and Actual Field Trips for Place-Based STEM Education

Jiayan Zhao, Peter Christopher Lafemina, Julia Carr, Pejman Sajjadi, Jan Oliver Wallgrun, Alexander Klippel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Field trips are a key component of learning in STEM disciplines such as geoscience to develop skills, integrate knowledge, and prepare students for lifelong learning. Given the reported success of technology-based learning and the prevalence of new forms of technology, especially with immersive virtual reality (iVR) entering the mainstream, virtual field trips (VFTs) are increasingly being considered as an effective form of teaching to either supplement or replace actual field trips (AFTs). However, little research has investigated the implications of VFTs in place-based STEM education, and empirical evidence is still limited about differences between students' learning experiences and outcomes in VFTs experienced on desktop displays and field trips experienced in iVR. We report on a study that divided an introductory geoscience laboratory course into three groups with the first two groups experiencing a VFT either on desktop (dVFT) or in iVR (iVFT), while the third group went on an AFT. We compared subjective experiences (assessed via questionnaires) and objective learning outcomes for these groups. Our results suggest that, although students reported higher motivation and being more present in the iVFT group, they did not learn more compared to those in the dVFT group; both VFT groups yielded higher scores for learning experience and perceived learning outcomes than the actual field site visit. These findings demonstrate positive learning effects of VFTs relative to AFTs and provide evidence that geology VFTs need not be limited to iVR setups, which lead to considerable equipment costs and increased implementation complexity. Discussing the results, we reflect on the implications of our findings and point out future research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages893-902
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781728156088
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Event27th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2020 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Mar 22 2020Mar 26 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2020

Conference

Conference27th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2020
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period3/22/203/26/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Media Technology

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    Zhao, J., Lafemina, P. C., Carr, J., Sajjadi, P., Wallgrun, J. O., & Klippel, A. (2020). Learning in the Field: Comparison of Desktop, Immersive Virtual Reality, and Actual Field Trips for Place-Based STEM Education. In Proceedings - 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2020 (pp. 893-902). [9089451] (Proceedings - 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2020). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR46266.2020.1581091793502