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May 1, 2018

University of Northampton researches into teaching via virtual reality

University of NorthamptonRecent research from the University of Northampton has been looking into the quality of teaching via virtual reality (VR).

The research – which was undertaken by Computing masters student Yoana Slavova – has concluded that using VR technology to teach in universities might not be as conducive to learning as traditional methods. The research suggests that VR can overwhelm the human brain, making it difficult to recall the information.

Northampton Virtual RealityThe research paper was co-authored with Senior Computing Lecturer, Dr Mu Mu, and presented at IEEE VR 2018, a leading conference on 3D and virtual reality research held in Germany.

Yoana explains, “While VR is increasingly adopted by primary and secondary schools in the UK to improve pupils’ engagement, it is unclear how the technology would and could impact the learning of hard sciences in universities. Our study found that while university students see VR as a great platform to isolate them from real-world distractions, the extra cognitive load brought by VR content has a detrimental impact on how they memorise important quantitative data.”

The study was carried out at the University of Northampton and saw more than 50 students split into two groups and attending separate short lectures. It concluded that VR is most effective if used in short sessions to complement the conventional delivery of lectures and seminars.

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Content added on 1st May 2018. 

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