Scope and Method of Study. Little is known about the influence of individual learner differences on navigational behaviors and learning within a desktop virtual reality environment (VE). This mixed-methods exploratory study used orienting, navigating, and wayfinding theory, digital performance-recording technology, and expert judges to examine the influences of the individual characteristics of field dependent/field independent cognitive style, gender, and prior domain knowledge or experience on navigation behaviors and survey knowledge acquisition of 30 police officers in a virtual crime scene created for the study.
Findings and Conclusions. Detailed analyses were made of navigational moves and post-VE-treatment drawings of the virtual crime scene. Based on descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests, analysis of variance, qualitative data, inter-judge reliability coefficients, and rating scores on post-treatment drawings, several conclusions were drawn: (1) Navigational behaviors in a desktop VE is individualistic rather than occupational. (2) Identification of instructional design flaws in VEs is critical to successful navigation. (3) Tendency for disorientation in a VE is related to cognitive style. (4) Cognitive style differences are more influential on the learning process than on the learning outcome in a VE. (5) Prior domain knowledge and experience may affect learning in VEs less than in other media. (6) Computer gaming experience influences performance in VEs. (7) There are gender differences in navigational behaviors in VEs. (8) A sense of “presence” (“being there”) can be achieved in a desktop VE. (9) Real-world training can transfer to a desktop VE. (10) Pre-immersion training and preparation of learners are critical to successful navigation and learning in VEs. (11) Learners with different characteristics can learn from desktop VEs.
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|Advisor:||Ausburn, Lynna J.|
|Commitee:||Ausburn, Floyd B., Conti, Gary J., McCharen, Belinda, Self, Mary J.|
|School:||Oklahoma State University|
|Department:||Education (all programs)|
|School Location:||United States -- Oklahoma|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Desktop virtual reality, Field dependence, Field dependent/independent, Gender, Navigation, Prior experience, Virtual reality, Wayfinding|
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