Educational Technology

June 25, 2015

Penn State professor and students use Oculus Rift to improve online learning

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

By Katie Jacobs, Penn State University

The technology isn’t just cool, though. It’s doing what Engineering Professor Conrad Tucker hoped it would do: It helps students learn. Tucker recently completed a study that found the device significantly improves a student’s performance completing a task when compared to doing the same activity in a non-immersive computer program — just playing the simulation on a flat screen and with traditional controls like a keyboard. Tucker used the coffee pot simulation to time and compare how long it took 54 undergraduate engineering students to assemble the pot. The students were randomly split into two groups: one group completed the task using the IVR headset, and the other used a non-immersive computer program. The median time it took the Oculus Rift group was 23.21 seconds, while the median time of the second group clocked in at 49.04 seconds — more than double. (The paper will be published in the upcoming ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference [IDETC/CIE 2015].)

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