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Comparison of Path Visualizations and Cognitive Measures Relative to Travel Technique in a Virtual Environment

By Catherine Zanbaka, Benjamin Lok, Sabarish Babu, Amy Ulinski and Larry F. Hodges


We describe a between-subjects experiment that compared four different methods of travel, and their effect on cognition and paths taken in an immersive virtual environment (IVE). Participants answered a set of questions based on Crook’s condensation of Bloom’s taxonomy that assessed their cognition of the IVE with respect to knowledge, understanding and application, and higher mental processes. Participants also drew a sketch map of the IVE and the objects within it. Users’ sense of presence was measured using the Steed-Usoh-Slater Presence Questionnaire. Participants’ position and head orientation were automatically logged during their exposure to the virtual environment. These logs were later used to create visualizations of the paths taken. Path analysis, such as exploring the overlaid path visualizations and dwell data information, revealed further differences among the travel techniques. Our results suggest that for applications where problem solving and interpretation of material is important or where opportunity to train is minimal, having a large tracked space so that the participant can walk around the virtual environment provides benefits over common virtual travel techniques

Year: 2009
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