Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Michael Granaas


The study examined the influence of immersive technologies and sense of presence on learning outcomes while comparing different media formats (Immersive Virtual Reality and Desktop Virtual Reality). The experiment was conducted on N=68 students that experienced a biology lesson about the human cellular system and its related processes. The current literature suggests that Immersive technologies can a powerful impact to learning, but it is crucial to identify when and how these impacts emerge. The current assumption is that presence and educational outcomes stem from the amount of engagement with the material, which is suggested to depend on the level of immersion. Currently, the question is whether technological immersion elicits this psychological state of presence and whether this feeling of presence has an influence on learning or not. Much of the literature relates to qualitative measurement techniques, such as motivational and emotional questionnaires. As well as a major issue relating to the methodology, such as sample size and inconsistency between groups. The study addressed this limitation by assessing learning outcomes quantitatively, and consistency of stimulus between experimental groups. We proposed that the largest learning gains may be seen in the iVR environment, since evidence suggest that designing active and embodied lessons with meaningful interactivity and manipulation of content may continue to induce significant influence in learning interventions. These findings may provide empirical evidence to help understand the influence of these variables on learning in iVR.

Subject Categories



educational technology, immersive technology, immersive virtual reality, learning, presence, virtual reality

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota

Included in

Psychology Commons



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