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[Defense] A Framework for Measuring and Improving VR Competency

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Brian Holtkamp
will defend his proposal
A Framework for Measuring and Improving VR Competency


As Virtual Reality (VR) continues to become a more accessible and used medium for research, training, and education, subjects who are not familiar with VR hardware and software must learn how to properly operate VR in order to engage with the educational material, exhibit the training experiences, and provide usable data for researchers. A subjects’ performance can potentially be affected by their level of familiarity, experience, and expertise with VR and this impact could appear in the analysis and research based on those performances. Additionally, with a large variety of hardware and human-computer interaction patterns in use across all VR software, some users may be unfamiliar with certain patterns or techniques and will have to be taught how to use them effectively regardless of their experience levels.

This work is proposing a framework of which to identify, measure, and attempt to improve “VR Competency”, the ability for a person to understand and utilize a VR experience successfully. The VR competency framework focuses on three aspects of a VR experience: the hardware, the interactions, and the instructions. The hardware aspect is focused on how best to introduce a subject to the hardware and its capabilities. The interactions aspect is focused on teaching the subjects what they can do within the VR experience. The instructions aspect is focused on how to communicate goals to the subject to maximize the impact of the experience. The goal of this framework is to provide people designing VR experiences a measure of how a subject is performing within a VR experience, techniques to determine what aspects of the experience are posing difficulties towards the experience’s objectives, and best practices for introducing VR to unexperienced subjects.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
2:00PM - 3:00PM CT

Dr. Jaspal Subhlok and Dr. Chang Yun, dissertation advisors

Faculty, students and the general public are invited.