Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Kilo Hōkū: A Virtual Reality Simulation for Non-instrument Hawaiian Navigation
by Karjala, Patrick A., M.S., University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2019, 69; 13860176
Abstract (Summary)

In this thesis I present our development of a virtual reality simulation titled Kilo Hōkū. This simulation recreates the experience of sailing on the Hōkūleʻa, a Polynesian double-hulled sailing canoe built in Hawaiʻi in 1974, which completed its worldwide journey in 2017. The construction and sailing of this vessel are of significant importance to the Hawaiian cultural renaissance of the 1970s and 1980s; of particular relevance is Modern Hawaiian wayfinding, the cultural practice of navigating across the open ocean to a destination without the use of maps or modern navigation instruments. By developing the simulation, we aimed to assist in the cultural preservation of the celestial navigation portion of Modern Hawaiian wayfinding techniques, and to help to educate future generations of non-instrument navigators. The first implementation of Kilo Hōkū as a cultural heritage project in virtual reality was to test its viability as a tool for Modern Hawaiian wayfinders to use in classroom instruction, and its realism as an accurate reproduction of the Hōkūleʻa’s sailing experience. The reaction to the simulation from current practicing Hawaiian wayfinders was positive. Based on this initial response, I performed a study to gather reactions to the simulation from learners and active practitioners of Modern Hawaiian wayfinding. Students participating in the study noted that it would assist in learning due to the immersive nature of the simulation, and the realistic recreation of situations where Modern Hawaiian wayfinding can be used in practice. Additionally, teachers and learned practitioners of Modern Hawaiian wayfinding noted that it would be of specific use to them in a classroom

setting, and would be a beneficial addition to their existing instructional methods. The main contribution of this thesis is a framework for developing acceptable simulations for non-instrument open ocean navigation. Further studies are warranted to determine the efficacy of the simulation compared to other learning methods.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leigh, Jason
Commitee: Robertson, Scott, Johnson, Philip
School: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Computer Science
School Location: United States -- Hawaii
Source: MAI 81/8(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Computer science, Educational technology
Keywords: Education, Hōkūleʻa, Polynesian voyaging, Virtual reality, Wayfinding
Publication Number: 13860176
ISBN: 9781392843390
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