302 What Learning Theories Teach Us About Learning in VR

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Wednesday, July 26

Virtual reality is no longer just an expensive curiosity, but a real option for many trainers and educators. Like many new media, it runs the risk of being used badly. Strategies and methods from earlier media are not necessarily suited to new media. If you apply classroom methods to VR, what will you miss? If you apply video strategies to VR, what will you get wrong?

In this session, you will learn initial ideas and frameworks for how to use virtual reality for learning. Specifically, you’ll review how virtual reality provides affordances for addressing cognitive load theory’s three types of load. You will review what multimedia learning theory says about using graphics and audio, and how these lessons can be applied to VR. You’ll also review situated learning and experiential learning. Throughout this session, key findings from the worldwide network of VR labs will be applied to inform discussion. You will develop an overall framework for looking at when, and how, virtual reality training works.

In this session, you will learn:

  • About the Proteus effect
  • About situated learning in VR
  • About creating presence in VR
  • Frameworks for thinking about learning in VR
  • About differences between expert and novice learning in VR
  • About limits to learning in VR

Intermediate to advanced designers, project managers, managers, and directors.

Technology discussed in this session:
HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, gaming engines (including Unity), and WebVR.

Hugh Seaton


Aquinas Training

Hugh Seaton is the CEO of Aquinas Training, a training software company. Previously, he was an adjunct professor of marketing and advertising at Sacred Heart University and NYU. The first 18 years of his career were spent in strategy at ad agencies like BBDO, FCB, and Havas, and in marketing departments for Sony and AOL. Hugh is passionate about learning and believes the intersection of technology, learning science, and psychology can lead to better learning outcomes.

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