Motivational and Cognitive Benefits of Training in Immersive Virtual Reality Based on Multiple Assessments

This study compared the effectiveness of conventional training, a desktop VR simulation, and an immersive VR simulation. A retention test found no differences between conventional and VR training. The Immersive VR group had higher perceived enjoyment and showed increased intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy.


Makransky, G., Borre‐Gude, S & Mayer, Richard E. (2019). Motivational and Cognitive Benefits of Training in Immersive Virtual Reality Based on Multiple Assessments​. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.


The main objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of immersive virtual reality (VR) as a medium for delivering laboratory safety training. We specifically compare an immersive VR simulation, a desktop VR simulation, and a conventional safety manual. The sample included 105 first-year undergraduate engineering students (56 females).  We include five types of learning outcomes including post-test enjoyment ratings; pre- to post-test changes in intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy; a post-test multiple choice retention test; and two behavioral transfer tests. Results indicated that the groups did not differ on the immediate retention test, suggesting that all three media were equivalent in conveying the basic knowledge. However, significant differences were observed favoring the immersive VR group compared to the text group on the two transfer tests involving solving problems in a physical lab setting (d = 0.54, d = 0.57), as well as enjoyment (d = 1.44) and increases in intrinsic motivation (d = 0.69) and self-efficacy (d = 0.60). The desktop VR group scored significantly higher than the text group on one transfer test (d = 0.63) but not the other (d= 0.11), as well as enjoyment (d =1.11) and intrinsic motivation (d =0.83).

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