Countering the Novelty Effect: A Tutorial for Immersive Virtual Reality Learning Environments

Ines Miguel-Alonso,Bruno Rodriguez-Garcia,David Checa, Andres Bustillo
Applied Sciences (Switzerland)

Immersive Virtual Reality (iVR) is a new technology, the novelty effect of which can reduce the enjoyment of iVR experiences and, especially, learning achievements when presented in the classroom; an effect that the interactive tutorial proposed in this research can help overcome. Its increasingly complex levels are designed on the basis of Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, so that users can quickly gain familiarity with the iVR environment. The tutorial was included in an iVR learning experience for its validation with 65 users. It was a success, according to the user satisfaction and tutorial usability survey. First, it gained very high ratings for satisfaction, engagement, and immersion. Second, high skill rates suggested that it helped users to gain familiarity with controllers. Finally, a medium-high value for flow pointed to major concerns related to skill and challenges with this sort of iVR experience. A few cases of cybersickness also arose. The survey showed that only intense cybersickness levels significantly limited performance and enjoyment; low levels had no influence on flow and immersion and little influence on skill, presence, and engagement, greatly reducing the benefits of the tutorial, despite which it remained useful.

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