Evaluating the effect of tangible virtual reality on spatial perspective taking ability

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PubDate: October 2017

Teams: Ryerson University;Digital Media;University of Toronto

Writers: Jack Shen-Kuen Chang;Georgina Yeboah;Alison Doucette;Paul Clifton;Michael Nitsche;Timothy Welsh;Ali Mazalek

PDF: Evaluating the effect of tangible virtual reality on spatial perspective taking ability

Abstract

As shown in many large-scale and longitudinal studies, spatial ability is strongly associated with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning and career success. At the same time, a growing volume of research connects cognitive science theories with tangible/embodied interactions (TEI) and virtual reality (VR) to offer novel means to support spatial cognition. But very few VR-TEI systems are specifically designed to support spatial ability, nor are they evaluated with respect to spatial ability. In this paper, we present the background, approach, and evaluation of TASC (Tangibles for Augmenting Spatial Cognition), a VR-TEI system built to support spatial perspective taking ability. We tested 3 conditions (tangible VR, keyboard/mouse, control; n=46). Analysis of the pre/post-test change in performance on a perspective taking test revealed that only the VR-TEI group showed statistically significant improvements. The results highlight the role of tangible VR design for enhancing spatial cognition.

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