Effects of Assistive Technologies Combined with Desktop Virtual Reality in Instructional Procedures (2)

Effects of Assistive Technologies Combined with Desktop Virtual Reality in Instructional Procedures (2)

Gary Dotterer (Oklahoma State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-817-3.ch021
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Twenty-four practical nursing and health careers students were introduced by random assignment to the four treatments. Specifically, the study compared the learning effects on an instrument connection procedure used in a medical setting of four different learning treatments: text-only instruction, image-only instruction, desktop virtual reality (DVR) with assistive technologies (ATs) (i.e., audio combined with closed caption) instruction, and hands-on demonstration instruction. This study used descriptive statistics, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and qualitative comments and observation to discover important design and implementation challenges for DVR.
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Twenty-four subjects from Northeast Technology Center in Oklahoma (USA) participated in this study. They were post-secondary Practical Nursing students and Health Careers Occupations students aged 18 years or older, and were selected to participate based on the criterion of having no previous interaction with an electrocardiography machine (ECG or EKG).

Testing Instruments and Procedures

Subjects were randomly assigned to one of four web-based treatments: (a) text-only that included only text with no visual aides; (b) image-only that included visual imagery with no supportive text; (c) DVR/ATs that included a QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) Movie, audio with closed captioning and text-based support for documentation; (d) hands-on instructional training that included instructor-presented instructional demonstration supported by text-based documentation. Figures 1, 2, and 3 illustrate the three media-based treatments. These treatments were presented via desktop computer. All four treatments were presented to subjects individually by the researcher.

Figure 1.

Screen shot of the text-only instrument

Figure 2.

Screen shot of the image only instrument

Figure 3.

Screen shot of the DVR/ATs combined on a web page


Students assigned to image-only and DVR/ATs treatment were given a video to train them on interaction and navigational tools used by the QTVR Player. These subjects were allowed to view the instructional training video as long as they wanted. All students were individually given their assigned instructional presentation on to how to hook up an EKG. Upon completion of their training treatment, students were individually shown the actual EKG, lead cables, sensors, and electrical power cord and ask to successfully hook up the machine to a mannequin according to what they learned from their treatment. Subjects were given a maximum of ten minutes to complete this task. This performance test was the source of the quantitative data for the study. Additional qualitative data were recording subjects’ verbal comments and researcher observations.


Results And Findings

Analysis of the number of correct responses on the hands-on EKG exercise was done with descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA. Descriptive data are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4.


ANOVA results are shown in Figure 5. There was a significant difference among the four instructional treatments (F = 31.43; df = 3; p = .000) with a very large effect size (η2 = .97) and a large corrected R2 (.80). These results allowed rejection of the null hypothesis that learners receiving text-only, image-only, DVR/ATs, and traditional hands-on instruction perform no differently.

Figure 5.


Key Terms in this Chapter

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.

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.

Geocentric: Relationship of ones orientation based on a map pointing up in the North direction.

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.

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

Egocentric: The relationship of oneself to its surroundings in a mapped environment.

Electrocardiography Machine (ECG or EKG): A machine used to monitor and record the electrical activity of the heart over time.

Closed Captioning: Overlaying words or symbols on a screen based on the dialogue heard from a video or television to assist individuals with auditory impairment.

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.

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.

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