Mixed, augmented, and virtual reality edtech tools are making news everywhere. But what do these tools actually mean for students and educators? Do they improve student learning, or are they just a novelty?
A new study showed student improvements in understanding when mixed reality experiences were a part of the learning process. This research, conducted at North Carolina State University by Rebecca Hite under the direction of Dr. Gail Jones at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, focused on mixed reality learning experiences with zSpace.
Using data from a larger study of 151 sixth and ninth grade students with zSpace, the study explored the relationships between students’ aspects of cognitive development and perceptions of virtual presence. A sample of 20 middle school students and teachers used zSpace to explore biology and physical science content. Students reported improved science process skills and understandings of the nature of science. When compared to traditional forms of science instruction, students ranked the virtual technology as more interesting and increasing their understanding.
Hite, now an associate professor of curriculum and instruction at Texas Tech University, believes technology tools, like virtual and mixed reality, can offer rich and robust STEM experiences to support and encourage students in STEM. New studies show that these edtech tools are more than just a novelty; the use of these tools can result in improved student understanding of science.
Read more about the study in this press release.