Current Projects

Children and Virtual Characters

Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to transform media experiences and to create the illusion of sharing the same space with virtual characters. This project studies children’s responses to virtual characters, particularly those in VR, where children share the same media space. As we begin to understand the opportunities of VR for youth, we must examine how larger than life characters affect children’s experiences and how children’s backgrounds contribute to their perceptions of immersive content. 

Understanding Social Connections in Virtual Reality for the Future of Learning

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, a wide variety of university classes were forced to change their format to remote learning with in-person courses moving to video conferencing (i.e., Zoom) and asynchronous communication.  However, social virtual environments pose an opportunity for students and teachers to connect remotely through virtual” field trips.”   This project aims to identify the challenges and benefits of utilizing virtual environments to enhance STEM learning by examining the strengths and challenges of VR to build social connections.