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Comparison of Virtual Reality Versus Reality: Effects on Student Learning Using Virtual Technology on Nanotechnology Education

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Technical Session 8: Virtual Reality

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Reza Kamali Utah Valley University

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Dr. Reza Kamali-Sarvestani is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at Utah Valley University. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Shiraz University Iran, and M.S.E, Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2009, and 2011 respectively. He joined Utah Valley University (UVU) in 2012. He is currently working to develop a Virtual Reality course on nano/microfabrication. Dr. Kamali’s work is supported by funding from National Science Foundation, Utah Valley University, and local/international companies. He is a member of IEEE and ASEE.

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Jonathan David Anderson Utah Valley University

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Jon Anderson earned a bachelors in Computer Engineering in 2004 and a masters in Electrical Engineering in 2007 from Brigham Young University. He has been teaching in the Developmental Mathematics program at Utah Valley University starting in 2007 and has begun teaching freshman level engineering courses as an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University since 2018. His research interests include appropriate uses of technology in education and assessment of learning outcomes.

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Matthew Meyers Utah Valley University

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An animation student at Utah Valley University, Matthew is a member of the research team responsible for creating the virtual reality simulations described in this paper.

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Virtual Reality (VR) is a fast-growing industry and more people are getting interested to buy and experiment VR systems. In addition to its uses in entertainment, training, and rehabilitation, VR simulations are being used as educational tools. A 3D laboratory developed in 2015 with the goal of enticing high school students into STEM careers saw success in increasing interest and skills in engineering [1]. In 2018, two VR simulation was created to teach Photolithography and Scan Electron Microscopy in two-year degree programs [2], [3]. In addition to reporting that the simulation was entertaining and engaging, the users showed substantial improvement in performance.

In this study, a comparison of Virtual Reality training versus real world laboratory experiment is reported. Two groups of student with similar background education are being selected. These groups will conduct the same nanotechnology experiments in Virtual Reality and Reality. To match the background knowledge of group members in nanotechnology, students are being compared in pairs rather than groups. Critical feelings and confidence of students is being measured before and after using machinery and laboratory experiments. Other reporting includes: time to complete and number of attempts before a successful experiment. This study is helping to show the effect of risk factor on the number of iterations and reports the benefits of VR application in teaching undergraduate students

Kamali, R., & Anderson, J. D., & Meyers, M. (2019, June), Comparison of Virtual Reality Versus Reality: Effects on Student Learning Using Virtual Technology on Nanotechnology Education Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32527

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