Transfer of spatial learning from virtual to real space: the effects of differential modes of exploration, age and familiarity.

Sandamas, George and Foreman, Nigel and Korallo, Liliya (2004) Transfer of spatial learning from virtual to real space: the effects of differential modes of exploration, age and familiarity. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 12 (2). ISSN 1350-472X

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Abstract

Purpose: To examine the extent to which
children’s spatial learning from a virtual
environment (VE) is dependent on mode of
exploration, in particular active and passive
experience, age and familiarity, and to compare
and contrast the findings with those of an
equivalent real-space study.
Background: Theories of spatial learning have
emphasised the positive benefits of independent
exploratory activity, and studies in real space
have usually supported this conclusion. However,
in contrast, studies in virtual space have often
failed to find any advantage for active explorers
over passive observers. The current study used
the methodology of a previous study in real
space (Herman, 1980) that found an advantage
for active explorers, to determine whether this
finding would be replicated in virtual space.
Method: Children seven to 10 years experienced
a VE either actively (using a joystick to navigate
freely around the environment) passively
(observing active participants’ displacements),
or from the perimeter (from eight viewpoints
45 degrees apart, or from a single viewpoint).
Object placement accuracy across two trials was
used to evaluate spatial learning. ANOVA
indicated main effects of Age and Trial.
A Trial x Condition interaction indicated that the
scores of Active participants failed to improve
between trials to the same extent as those of
participants in the other three conditions.
Conclusions: Generally, the findings are
consistent with those of Herman (1980) who also
found age and practice effects. However, the
finding that the Active condition was the least
effective for spatial learning is surprising and may
be explained in terms of working memory loading
and/or lack of familiarity with the computer input
device.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The 2004 BPS Annual Conference, Imperial College London, 15–17 April.
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Language, Learning and Cognition group
Item ID: 6082
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2010 07:04
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015 15:50
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/6082

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