Digital Transformations of Classrooms in Virtual Reality

With rapid developments in consumer-level head-mounted displays and computer graphics, immersive VR has the potential to take online and remote learning closer to real-world settings. However, the effects of such digital transformations on learners, particularly for VR, have not been evaluated in depth. This work investigates the interaction-related effects of sitting positions of learners, visualization styles of peer-learners and teachers, and hand-raising behaviors of virtual peer-learners on learners in an immersive VR classroom, using eye tracking data. Our results indicate that learners sitting in the back of the virtual classroom may have difficulties extracting information. Additionally, we find indications that learners engage with lectures more efficiently if virtual avatars are visualized with realistic styles. Lastly, we find different eye movement behaviors towards different performance levels of virtual peer-learners, which should be investigated further. Our findings present an important baseline for design decisions for VR classrooms.


Hong Gao, Efe Bozkir, Lisa Hasenbein, Jens-Uwe Hahn, Richard Göllner, and Enkelejda Kasneci. 2021. Digital Transformations of Classrooms in Virtual Reality. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’21), May 8–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 10 pages.


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