703 Creating Presence in Virtual Reality

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Thursday, July 27


For virtual reality to achieve its goals, instructors need to create presence—the feeling of being in the virtual scene. Presence is what differentiates VR from video, and it’s what gives VR its unique power to affect learners. Virtual reality content doesn’t always do this well, leaving users less immersed than instructors intended, and creating weaker experiences and learning impact.

This session will outline both theory and application of presence, providing you with a clear checklist and understanding of what presence is, how to create it, and how to enhance it during learning sessions. You will review studies of presence and its impact, and discuss some of the areas still being worked out. The session will also touch on related concepts like narrative transportation and the role of content vs. instructions vs. tech in creating presence. Examples of low presence and high presence will be discussed.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What presence is
  • How presence is created
  • How presence is broken
  • How presence is enhanced
  • About the limits of presence in certain platforms
  • How presence correlates to impact

Novice designers, project managers, managers, and directors.

Technology discussed in this session:
Virtual reality, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Cardboard.

Hugh Seaton


Aquinas Learning

Hugh Seaton is the CEO of Aquinas Learning. He has a vision for learning: an always on, always with you AI learning coach that connects LMS, third party content, and conversational coaching together into a seamless experience. Virtual and augmented reality will be key to this, as are different flavors of artificial intelligence. After a global career in technology marketing, Hugh has spent six years pursuing this vision of the AI learning coach, with Aquinas Learning the result.

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