L&D: Reality Overload with VR?

Really – Cognitive Overload

VR is a big thing currently in some corners of L&D.

But I think the Tech Enthusiasts among us are overdoing it again with their enthusiasm.

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From… Greg Ashman’s Blog:

Filling the pail

Virtual reality headsets are rubbish

Before someone in your organisation goes blowing the budget on a set of virtual reality headsets, it might be worth having a look at the findings of a new study by Makransky, Terkildsen and Mayer. The research enthusiasts among you may recognise Mayer for his Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) and this theory does play a part in the study.

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More from Greg…

The researchers measured cognitive load directly using an Electroencephalograph (an EEG), a device that records electrical activity in the brain via electrodes attached to the head. The EEG was initially trained by making measures of people performing typical working memory tasks such as accurately reciting lists of digits (digit span tasks) or performing mental arithmetic, as well as looking for correlates with subjects’ own reports of cognitive load. A company has developed proprietary software to process all of this, as well as subtract effects due to people blinking or other muscle movements. I find this quite impressive.

After the simulation, students answered questions directly assessing their knowledge, as well as transfer questions that required them to apply their new knowledge in novel situations. The low-immersion condition led to higher scores on both tests but this was only statistically significant for the knowledge tests. The transfer test items had quite a low reliability and so, with a sample this size, it would have been hard to see an effect.

The main finding was that the low-immersion, computer version of the simulation was more effective than the high-immersion, VR headset version. However, the subjects did report a significantly greater ‘sense of presence’ when using the headsets, which is hardly surprising.

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More from Greg…

So should your school go out and buy those VR headsets? The best we can say from this research is that they may be motivational.

Read the entire Post – here.

The Lesson To Be Learned?

Slow down. Breathe Deeply. Don’t let the Tech Enthusiasts draw you in on their enthusiasm alone.

We might find a use for new technology as it appears and evolves – and wise experimentation is always a good thing before going whole hog on it – or exhausting your tank.

That’s at 11 O’Clock in my T&D Systems View model – Research & Development.

The T&D Systems View model – will be the subject of a new Blog Post series to be run on every Tuesday in 2018 – until I run out of Processes in the model (47).

That series starts tomorrow.

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