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Real walking in virtual learning environments: Beyond the advantage of naturalness

: Heintz, Matthias

Kaiserslautern, 2009, VII, 16 S.
IESE-Report, 110.09/E
Reportnr.: 110.09/E
Fraunhofer IESE ()
learning space; computer assisted learning; experiment

Real walking is often used for navigation through virtual information spaces because of its naturalness (e.g. [1]). This paper shows another advantage. We present a within-subjects controlled experiment in the area of document retrieval. It compares two concepts of navigation: mouse and tracking. The latter was chosen for its naturalness and its feature to create proprioception. Our idea is that this helps users to orientate themselves and recall positions. This would result in better retrieval of previously visited information. The experiment shows a benefit in accuracy of finding content with tracking. This means proprioception improves users capacity of memory. This finding can serve as a decision support for choosing input devices, when designing immersive virtual learning environments. Therefore it can either help to build a base for a new interaction model for learning environments. Or it can broaden the theoretical framework of Chen et al. [2] to include immersive environments.