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Whitelock, D., Romano, D., Jelfs, A., & Brna, P. (2000). Perfect presence: What does this mean for the design of virtual learning environments. Education and Information Technologies, 5(4), 277–289. 
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (4/19/05, 12:07 PM)   Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Whitelock2000
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Categories: General
Keywords: Cognition, Virtual environment
Creators: Brna, Jelfs, Romano, Whitelock
Collection: Education and Information Technologies
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One of the advantages of building a virtual reality system is that it allows students to enter new worlds which in these instances include trips to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, a field visit to an Oak Wood and a close encounter in a 3D maze. In all these environments the factors affecting a sense of 'being there' or presence was investigated. Enhanced audio feedback increased a subjective sense of presence but did not increase students' conceptual learning scores. We have also found that a sense of social presence enhanced the notion of 'being there' together with measures of collaboration. However 'being there' can take its toll on students and our findings suggest it imposes a cognitive overload. Where students have a choice, they try and reduce this overload by asking for conceptual tools to assist them in their learning tasks. The studies reported in this paper provide some benchmark data about these issues which deserve further investigation if we are to design effective virtual environments for conceptual learning.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.278   "...the dependent variables of virtual reality must all be measures of individual experience."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
pp.282–283   "...enhanced audio feedback increased the students' sense of presence". However, "without sound the visual representation appeared more realistic". Additionally, understanding of conceptual notions decreased with increasing audio presence. Perhaps a "cognitive overload"?   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.288   "...sound does contribute to a greater sense of presence ... but it interferes with the cognitive processing tasks."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.279   Talking of representational fidelity, the authors divide it into 3:

  1. Technical fidelity -- how realistic are the renderings, motion, colours etc.?
  2. Representational familiarity -- how familiar to the user is the simulated environment?
  3. Representational fidelity -- to what extent is the world possible?
  Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
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