Exploring virtual and augmented reality with experimental psychology

About us

We are a research group that investigates immersive technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality in educational settings. We aim to establish results, that can ultimately change how people learn.

Read more

News

What is going on at the Virtual Learning Lab?

Read more

Research Grants

See who finances our research.

Read more

Publications

Read what we have recently published.

Abstract

There has been a surge in interest and implementation of Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) based lessons in education and training recently, which has resulted in many studies on the topic. There are recent reviews which summarize this research, but little work has been done that synthesizes the existing findings into a theoretical framework. The Cognitive Affective Model of Immersive Learning (CAMIL) synthesizes existing immersive educational research to describe the process of learning in IVR. The general theoretical framework of the model suggests that instructional methods which are based on evidence from research with less immersive media generalize to learning in IVR. However, the CAMIL builds on evidence that media interacts with method. That is, certain methods which facilitate the affordances of IVR are specifically relevant in this medium. The CAMIL identifies presence and agency as the general psychological affordances of learning in IVR, and describes how immersion, control factors, and representational fidelity facilitate these affordances. The model describes six affective and cognitive factors that can lead to IVR based learning outcomes including interest, motivation, self-efficacy, embodiment, cognitive load, and self-regulation. The model also describes how these factors lead to factual, conceptual, and procedural knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer. Implications for future research and instructional design are proposed.

Full citation:

Makransky, G., & Petersen, B. G., (2020). The Cognitive Affective Model of Immersive Learning (CAMIL): A Theoretical Research-Based Model of Learning in Immersive Virtual Reality. Educational Psychology Review.

Pedagogical Agents in Educational VR: An in the Wild Study.

Gustav Bøg Petersen, Aske Mottelson, and Guido Makransky.

May 1, 2021

Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Abstract

Pedagogical agents are theorized to increase humans’ effort to understand computerized instructions. Despite the pedagogical promises of VR, the usefulness of pedagogical agents in VR remains uncertain. Based on this gap, and inspired by global efforts to advance remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted an educational VR study in-the-wild (𝑁 = 161). With a2 × 2 + 1 between subjects design, we manipulated the appearance and behavior of a virtual museum guide in an exhibition about viruses. Factual and conceptual learning outcomes as well as subjective learning experience measures were collected. In general,participants reported high enjoyment and had significant knowledge acquisition. We found that the agent’s appearance and behavior impacted factual knowledge gain. We also report an interaction effect between behavioral and visual realism for conceptual knowledge gain. Our findings nuance classical multimedia learning theories and provide directions for employing agents in immersive learning environments.

Full citation:

Gustav Bøg Petersen, Aske Mottelson, and Guido Makransky. 2020. Pedagogical Agents in Educational VR: An in the Wild Study. Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–13. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3411764.3445760

The Validation and Further Development of a Multidimensional Cognitive Load Scale for Virtual Environments

Martin S. Andersen and Guido Makransky.

August 6, 2020

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

Abstract

Measuring cognitive load is important in virtual learning environments (VLE). Thus, valid and reliable measures of cognitive load are important to support instructional design in VLE. Through three studies, we investigated the validity and reliability of Leppink’s Cognitive Load Scale (CLS) and developed the extraneous cognitive load (EL) dimension into three sub-scales relevant for VLE: EL instructions, EL interaction, and EL environment. We investigated the validity of the measures using the Partial Credit Model (PCM), Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), and correlations with retention tests. Study 1 (n = 73) investigated the adapted version of the CLS. Study 2 describes the development and validation of the Multidimensional Cognitive Load Scale for Virtual Environments (MCLSVE), with 140 students in higher education. Study 3 tested the generalizability of the results with 121 higher education students in a more complicated VLE. The results provide initial evidence for the validity and reliability of the MCLSVE.

Full citation:

Andersen, M.S., & Makransky, G. (2020). The Validation and Further Development of a Multidimensional Cognitive Load Scale for Virtual Environments. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

Investigating the effect of teaching as a generative learning strategy when learning through desktop and immersive VR: A media and methods experiment

Sara Klingenberg, Maria Mønster Jørgensen, Gert Dandanell, Karen Skriver, Aske Mottelson, and Guido Makransky.

August 1, 2020

British Journal of Educational Technology

Abstract

Immersive virtual reality (IVR) simulations for education have been found to increase affective outcomes compared to traditional media, but the effects on learning are mixed. As reflection has previously shown to enhance learning in traditional media, we investigated the efficacy of appropriate reflection exercises for IVR. In a 2 × 2 mixed‐methods experiment, 89 (61 female) undergraduate biochemistry students learned about the electron transport chain through desktop virtual reality (DVR) and IVR (media conditions). Approximately, half of each group engaged in a subsequent generative learning strategy (GLS) of teaching in pairs (method conditions). A significant interaction between media and methods illustrated that the GLS of teaching significantly improved transfer (d = 1.26), retention (d = 0.60) and self‐efficacy (d = 0.82) when learning through IVR, but not DVR. In the second part of the study, students switched media conditions and the experiment was repeated. This time, significant main effects favoring the IVR group on the outcomes of intrinsic motivation (d = 0.16), perceived enjoyment (d = 0.94) and presence (d = 1.29) were observed, indicating that students preferred IVR after having experienced both media conditions. The results support the view that methods enable media that affect learning and that the GLS of teaching is specifically relevant for IVR.

Full citation:

Klingenberg, S., Jørgensen, M., Dandanell, G., Skriver, K., Mottelson, A., & Makransky, G., 2020. Investigating the effect of teaching as a generative learning strategy when learning through desktop and immersive VR: A media and methods experiment. British Journal of Educational Technology.

The virtual field trip: Investigating how to optimize immersive virtual learning in climate change education

Gustav B. Petersen, Sara Klingenberg, Richard E. Mayer, and Guido Makransky.

July 6, 2020

British Journal of Educational Technology

Abstract

Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) is being used for educational virtual field trips (VFTs) involving scenarios that may be too difficult, dangerous or expensive to experience in real life. We implemented an immersive VFT within the investigation phase of an inquiry‐based learning (IBL) climate change intervention. Students investigated the consequences of climate change by virtually traveling to Greenland and exploring albedo and greenhouse effects first hand. A total of 102 seventh and eighth grade students were randomly assigned to one of two instructional conditions: (1) narrated pretraining followed by IVR exploration or (2) the same narrated training material integrated within the IVR exploration. Students in both conditions showed significant increases in declarative knowledge, self‐efficacy, interest, STEM intentions, outcome expectations and intentions to change behavior from the pre‐ to post‐assessment. However, there was a significant difference between conditions favoring the pretraining group on a transfer test consisting of an oral presentation to a fictitious UN panel. The findings suggest that educators can choose to present important prerequisite learning content before or during a VFT. However, adding pretraining may lead to better transfer test performance, presumably because it helps reduce cognitive load while learning in IVR.

Full citation:

Petersen, G.B., Klingenberg, S., Mayer, R.E., & Makransky, G. (2020), The virtual field trip: Investigating how to optimize immersive virtual learning in climate change education. Br J Educ Technol. doi:10.1111/bjet.12991

See all publications

Twitter

What is top of our feed?

Our team

We pride ourselves in being a leading contributor to research on the psychology of mixed reality.

Guido Makransky

Founder, Associate Professor

Aske Mottelson

Post Doc

Gustav Bøg Petersen

PhD Fellow

Martin Stolpe Andersen

PhD Fellow

Sarune Baceviciute

PhD Fellow

Liisalotte Elme

Research Assistant

Adéla Plechatá

Research Assistant

Sara Klingenberg

Student Assistant

Zuzanna Bald

Communications Assistant

Valdemar Stenberdt

Student Assistant

Peter Lim

Student Developer

Open positions

Below you can find a list of our open positions. Send your application via the collaborate form.

Postdoctoral position in Behavioural Change Interventions

We are looking for a candidate with a PhD in educational or social psychology, human computer interaction, behavioural science or a related field. A strong quantitative methods background as well as the proven ability to write high quality academic papers are requirements. The ability to program, including Unity, is an advantage but not a requirement.

Apply here.

Collaborate

Want to collaborate with us?
Then contact us on the form below!

Thank you! Your message has been received.

We'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.