When High Fidelity Matters: AR and VR Improve the Learning of a 3D Object
In AVI 2020 -International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces. pages 39:1-9. 2020.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Environments have long been seen as having strong potential for educational applications. However, research showing actual evidences of their benefits is sparse. Indeed , some recent studies point to unnoticeable benefits, or even a detrimental effect due to an increase of cognitive demand for the students when using these environments. In this work, we question if a clear benefit of AR and VR can be robustly measured for a specific education-related task: learning a 3D object. We ran a controlled study in which we compared three interaction techniques. Two techniques are VR-and AR-based; they offer a High Fidelity (HF) virtual reproduction of observing and manipulating physical objects. The third technique is based on a multi-touch tablet and was used as a baseline. We selected a task of 3D object learning as one potentially benefitting from the HF reproduction of object manipulation. The experiment results indicate that VR and AR HF techniques can have a substantial benefit for education as the object was recognized more than 27% faster when learnt using the HF techniques than when using the tablet.