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From Artifacts to Outcomes: Comparison of HMD VR, Desktop, and Slides Lectures for Food Microbiology Laboratory Instruction

by   Fei Xue, et al.

Despite the value of VR (Virtual Reality) for educational purposes, the instructional power of VR in Biology Laboratory education remains under-explored. Laboratory lectures can be challenging due to students' low motivation to learn abstract scientific concepts and low retention rate. Therefore, we designed a VR-based lecture on fermentation and compared its effectiveness with lectures using PowerPoint slides and a desktop application. Grounded in the theory of distributed cognition and motivational theories, our study examined how learning happens in each condition from students' learning outcomes, behaviors, and perceptions. Our result indicates that VR facilitates students' long-term retention to learn by cultivating their longer visual attention and fostering a higher sense of immersion, though students' short-term retention remains the same across all conditions. This study extends current research on VR studies by identifying the characteristics of each teaching artifact and providing design implications for integrating VR technology into higher education.


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