U of Maryland Study on VR in Education is Quieting Critics

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland points to virtual reality (VR) education being an improvement over tablet-based or traditional computer-based learning. The study found that people remember information better and have a higher recall when that info is presented in VR compared to a two-dimensional personal computer. The overall average recall performance of participants in VR was 8.8% higher compared to those using traditional displays. Even more, the median recall accuracy was almost 12% higher in VR (90.48% vs. 78.57% on the desktop).

Amitabh Varshney, dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at UMD, stated that the “data is exciting in that it suggests that immersive environments could offer new pathways for improved outcomes in education and high-proficiency training”.

University of Maryland seal

  • Desktop participants used a mouse to change their viewpoint, while VR users turned their heads from side to side and looked up and down.

 

  • The study was based on image location recall featuring images of well-known figures such as President Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

  • The goal was to identify each face by its physical location and its relation to surrounding structures and faces–and also the location of the image relative to the user’s own body.

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