Effects of Assistive Technologies Combined with Desktop Virtual Reality in Instructional Procedures (1)

Effects of Assistive Technologies Combined with Desktop Virtual Reality in Instructional Procedures (1)

Gary Dotterer (Oklahoma State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-817-3.ch020
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Based on research, desktop virtual reality (DVR) has been shown to have learning benefits over traditional methods of instruction. However, implementing assistive technology (ATs) in DVR would seem to enhance the learning process. This study aimed to examine effects of web-based DVR on learning performances. The literature reviewed for this particular study ultimately shows DVR to be beneficial in training in many fields found in the workforce. The overall advantages utilizing advanced technology in the form of DVR and ATs allow safe and controlled training environments, realistic simulations, and the ability to reconstruct learner processes and interactions.
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Research Purpose

Learners with impairment use ATs to access online learning content through input devices and software. According to Netherton and Deal (2006) ATs can be defined as, “…any piece of equipment or device that may be used by a person with a disability to perform specific tasks, improve functional capabilities, and become more independent. It can help…people with a wide range of cognitive, physical, or sensory disabilities” (p.11). Although these devices are used primarily for accessing electronic documents, bridging connectivity with desktop publishing software, and browsing Internet content, the literature shows that ATs are compatible with most digital online content, however, what has not been researched is the comparison of learning outcomes among instructional procedures: text-only, image-only, DVR/ATs, and hands-on instructional treatments. The purpose of this study was to determine, through dependent evidence or consequences that are observable, using a mixed method research design, the effects of four treatments on learner performance outcomes.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ACT-R Theory: Derived by John Anderson in 1996 who proposed complex cognition arises from an interaction of procedural and declarative knowledge. Procedural knowledge is represented by units called production rules, and declarative knowledge is represented in units called chunks.

QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR): A special video file created by virtual reality software that gives users the ability to click and drag right or left, up and down by control movement through an input device.

Closed Caption Video: Text that scrolls through a digital video file that gives auditory impaired individuals the opportunity to read dialogue.

Cognitive Load Theory: Derived by John Sweller in 1988 that proposed optimum learning occurs in humans when the working load is kept to a minimum to best facilitate long-term memory.

Web-Based Treatments: Research instruments that are administered via the World Wide Web.

Orientation and Wayfinding Theory: Derived by David Waller, Earl Hunt, and David Knapp in 1998 that proposed orientation in space is crucial for finding one’s way from one location to another.

Virtual Reality (VR): A multi-imagery computer generated environment.

Assistive Technology (AT): Provides individuals with learning, communication, and physical access difficulties the necessary hardware and software solutions to lead more productive and independent lives.

Desktop Virtual Reality (DVR): Refers to a computer program that creates a real or simulated imagery-based environment that is displayed through a desktop computer screen.

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