Wednesday, February 20, 2008

PAWS Meeting 2-13-08

Maria Harrington presented her recent pilot study on her virtual reality project. This project aims to simulate a part of Pittsburgh surburban terrain where lots of plants and animals are residing. She has been trying to examine the validity of this system especially in terms of supporting elementary school students when they were going out field trips to the area which the system simulates.
Today's focus was especially the comparison between virutal reality and real environment in which sequence they were presented to the students. She conducted a study comparing VR-to-Real (VR) and Real-to-VR (RV) and which sequencing is more stimulating the subjects with some elementry students aged from 8 to 11. In VR sequence, students were presented with the VR system in their classrooms and then they went out to the real field trip, and in RV was in vice versa. In order to measure which sequence is more effective, she asked the subjects to annotate a map (real) about the things they found out during the study. By this measure two grups (VR and RV) were compared.
What she found was as follows,
• Environment effect: VR can match the real for in-situ performance especially for in curriculum data.
• Order effect : in both total and plant only map annotations, practice makes perfect.
• Interaction : Salamander effect - critical design feature, seen in the total map annotations, not the plant only annotations.
• Transfer from RV and VR, with RV showing stronger effects and stronger for in curriculum data.
• Main contribution : use real and virtual together for maximized learning, prime before real, and reinforce post real.

After Maria's presentation, group members talked about how to promote the update of the current group wiki system and maintainers for each section were assigned.


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