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Using 360-Video Virtual Reality to Influence Caregiver Emotions and Behaviors for Childhood Literacy

Using 360-Video Virtual Reality to Influence Caregiver Emotions and Behaviors for Childhood Literacy
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Author(s): Iulian Radu (Harvard University, USA), Chris Dede (Harvard University, USA), Mohamed Raouf Seyam (Harvard University, USA), Tianyi Feng (Harvard University, USA) and Michelle Chung (Harvard University, USA)
Copyright: 2021
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Pages: 22
Source title: International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: William Bart (University of Minnesota, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJGCMS.20210101.oa2

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Abstract

Through the design and exploratory evaluation of a narrative-based 360-video virtual reality experience, the authors aimed at building empathy in adults towards children who experience challenges in early literacy. This contributes to a limited literature on VR empathetic design by specifically studying caregivers in relation to reading difficulties and utilizing a low-cost immersive medium. This research performed a quasi-experimental pilot study following a pretest-posttest design with 27 participants, collecting measures such as participant empathy, anxiety, immersion, and emotional reactions. This paper explored changes in pre-post measures, correlations between variables, and possible explanations for the observed results. The VR experience increased positive caregiver attitudes towards struggling readers. Participants who reported a high degree of emotional reactions showed increased willingness to donate to help reading difficulties. Participants with teaching experience or with lower starting empathy scores were less likely to be affected.

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