Using 360-Video Virtual Reality to Influence Caregiver Emotions and Behaviors for Childhood Literacy
March 1, 2021
Radu, I., Dede, C., Seyam, M. R., Feng, T., & Chung, M. (2021). Using 360-video virtual reality to influence caregiver emotions and behaviors for childhood literacy. International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 13(1), 12-33.
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.