604 Considering Cybersickness in VR for Learning

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Wednesday, June 27


Cybersickness is a term for motion sickness that you feel in a virtual environment. The potential for experiencing cybersickness often prevents learners from engaging in VR experiences, and experiencing it can decrease learners’ motivation and possibly leave them with negative after-effects that hinder learning. Understanding how cybersickness can impact learners, and how to prevent it, is critical as VR gains broader use.

In this session, you will learn why cybersickness occurs and what impact it has on the learner. You will learn how elements of the VR equipment, the simulation environment, and the activities that learners engage in in that environment can impact the onset or experience of cybersickness. Finally, you will learn different techniques for assessing learners’ susceptibility to cybersickness; how to mitigate the symptoms if someone begins to feel the effects; and what guidelines to follow to create experiences that have the best chance of avoiding cybersickness.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What cybersickness is
  • What elements of VR environments can lead to cybersickness
  • What impact cybersickness can have on a learner
  • How to assess a learner’s susceptibility to cybersickness
  • How to mitigate the potential for cybersickness in a VR learning environment


Designers and developers.

Technology discussed in this session:

General VR environments and equipment.

Alexander Walker

Senior Director, Learning Research and Design

MedStar Health Simulation Training and Education Lab

Alexander Walker is a senior director of learning research and design at MedStar Health Simulation Training and Education Lab, which is the educational development organization of one of the largest healthcare systems in the mid-Atlantic. He holds a PhD in human factors psychology from Clemson University. Early in his career, Alex engaged in research examining the effects of learning in different simulation environments on the impacts of performance and the development of motion sickness. His other research experience includes the investigation of team performance, the psychophysiological assessment of the workload and performance of individuals and teams.

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