Fostering science interests through head‐mounted displays

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Background: Research suggests that head‐mounted displays (HMD) can spark situational interest when they are used to provide science learning experiences that are not possible in traditional classroom settings. However, few studies have investigated the lasting effects of using HMDs in an authentic instructional intervention. Objectives: We investigated the effects of a one‐time experience of a virtual field trip to Greenland in a sample of 105 middle school students.
Methods: Students used either a standard 2D video (video condition; N = 50) or an
HMD (HMD condition; N = 55) as part of a six‐lesson educational activity on the topic of climate change. Informed by social cognitive career theory (SCCT), we investigated the effects of the different conditions (video vs. HMD) on the outcomes of self‐efficacy, outcome expectations, interest, and science intentions across three time points.
Results and Conclusions: The results showed that using the HMD‐based virtual field trip, compared to the video, had a positive immediate effect on self‐efficacy and interest, and total later effects on self‐efficacy, outcome expectations, and interest an average of two and a half weeks after the virtual field trip. The results suggest that HMD‐based virtual field trips can influence self‐efficacy, outcome expectations, and interest more than a video‐based virtual field trip when measured approximately two and a half weeks after the intervention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)369-379
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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