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The presenter of this session will discuss differences in the level of hemodynamic response (used as a proxy for ‘cognitive demand’) as it relates to three different pedagogical approaches of teaching the processes of DNA extraction in life science.
The first approach was using a video lecture approach. The second approach used an immersive virtual reality environment. The third approach was the use of a ‘hands-on’ laboratory in which the students engaged in a wet laboratory extraction.
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRs) technology was used in this study to examine hemodynamic localization associated with each condition.
Results suggest that the group using the virtual reality laboratory had a significantly higher score on the posttest compared to the laboratory group and the virtual laboratory group did not statistically significantly differ from the real-life laboratory group related to fNIR. More importantly, measures of virtual environment hemodynamic responses did not differ from those of the ‘real-life’ laboratory in either location or intensity.
These results suggest that realistic virtual reality based environments and ‘real-life’ laboratory activities activate and produce similar amounts of processing and learning.