Effects of Learning Traits and Information Display on Incidental Learning in 3D Virtual Environments

Effects of Learning Traits and Information Display on Incidental Learning in 3D Virtual Environments

Wayne W. Thomas (University of Alberta, Canada) and Patricia M. Boechler (University of Alberta, Canada)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7987-8.ch007
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In this chapter, the authors sought to determine if learning style or digital literacy predict incidental learning, that is, learning that occurs without learners being instructed to attend to or learn presented information. One hundred and fifty-five education undergraduate students completed a series of tasks in a virtual environment where additional information unrelated to the tasks was present. The results indicate that in addition to incidental learning taking place in virtual environments, learning style and digital literacy seem to predict incidental learning in some instances. An additional analysis explored learning styles by “strong” and “moderate” indicators and found that there was no significant difference in their incidental learning score by learning style strength. The results also suggest that information display, in this case visual salience, plays a role in incidental learning as the participants performed better on recalling information that was made more salient.
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The background covers the definitions of four key elements of this study: 1) incidental learning, 2) learning styles, 3) digital literacy, and 4) information display: visual salience.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Literacy: The ability to successfully utilize a computer and navigate the internet.

Salience: The extent to which an object stands out from its environment.

Learning Style: A learner’s preferred method or format of having information presented.

Virtual Environments: A three-dimensional space in which users can move about as an avatar and interact with other objects or avatars within the space.

Incidental Learning: Learning that occurs unintentionally. The learner may not be aware of what they have learned.

Survey Measures of Web-Oriented Literacies: An instrument created by Ezster Hargittai to measure an individual’s digital literacy in an internet-based context.

Index of Learning Styles: An instrument created by Richard Felder and Barbra Solomon to measure learning preferences on a four-dimensional scale. The questionnaire is based on a model created by Richard Felder and Linda Solomon with the dimensions of Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, Visual/Verbal, and Sequential/Global.

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