Immersive virtual reality (IVR) is increasingly used for learning. However, research on specific designs for IVRs which can be used to enhance individual learning performance is still at an early stage. In this research-in-progress paper, we build upon theories on context-dependent learning to develop an explanatory design theory. We hypothesize that if the user learns in a virtual environment that represents the recall environment (environmental congruence), recall is facilitated. Additionally, if the IVR is designed with a high degree of sensory immersion, the effect of environmental congruence on learning is further increased through enhanced cognitive absorption in the technology. In contrast, cognitive absorption in the task should have a reversed effect. To test the explanatory design theory, we plan to conduct a 2 (learning environment: Room A vs. Room B) x 2 (sensory immersion: low vs. high) x 2 (recall environment: Room A vs. Room B) between-subjects laboratory experiment.
Jahn, Katharina; Kampling, Henrik; Klein, Hans Christian; Kuru, Yasin; and Niehaves, Bjoern, "Towards an Explanatory Design Theory for Context-Dependent Learning in Immersive Virtual Reality" (2018). PACIS 2018 Proceedings. 235.