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 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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