How might we use virtual reality to
improve social skills of mentally handicapped students?
National Science Foundation REU Research Intern
(VR Design + Cybersecurity + UX + Data Science)
A VR classroom for kids with learning impediments.
Challenge: Improve social skills among students with cognitive disabilities in a safe and controlled environment.
Solution: Design a VRLE classroom to educate on interpersonal interaction.
Students need individual attention and struggle to understand appropriate social behaviors .
Learning at their own pace
Realtime user feedback
Research cybersecurity threats to vSocial
Hone my design skills across virtual applications
Learn about assistive technology
Discover ways to help others through design
Dr. Stitcher and other experts at the University of Missouri Department of Education provided the SCI curriculum.
First of all, what will the students be learning in vSocial?
Social Skill Building
Self Appropriating Behavior
Social Competence Intervention Curriculum
Photo credit [x]
USER INTERVIEWS & USABILITY TESTING
Students entered VR with an instructor, then were interviewed to examine attitudes and experiences.
We conducted a usability study to get feedback on our system.
Our results were surprising, as most users struggled to understand how to navigate through vSocial. This led to several system changes.
Several key findings surfaced from the usability test.
60% of users were confused about VR controls, and only 57% of users felt confident in vSocial.
Solution: Put up signs throughout the curriculum to help show users how to navigate
We brought vSocial to a middle school in Columbia, MO and students were very interested in the system
So, are all the kids in America going to be able to attend school in our PJ's next year, instead of coming to class?
Big takeaway: Communicating is more than just talking in VR.
There are many channels of communication (texting, body language, etc), which can be matched in VR. Confusing controls make for miscommunication, so indicate system confines.