Research Suggests Students Learn More When Collaborating in Virtual Reality Games
By Michael Hart
In the research project led by Ph.D. candidate Gabriel Culbertson, 48 students were recruited to play two versions of the game. In one group, students were connected via a chat interface with another player who could, if they wanted, offer advice on how to play. The second group played a version of the game in which they were definitely required to collaborate on quests.
The research group found the students in the second so-called “high-interdependence” group spent more time communicating and, as a consequence, learned more words.
The research then expanded to a larger group of 186 Reddit users who were learning Japanese. After reviewing gameplay logs, interviews and Reddit posts, they found that those who spent the most time engaged in the game learned more new words and phrases.
The Cornell research team presented its research results at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in May in San Jose, CA.
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