An educational tool using cognitive dissonance to explain physics concepts.
As an expansion of the Field VR physics work delivered to Australian National University (ANU) by Lightning Rock, an additional physics project titled Dissonance VR was developed. The purpose of this project was to test and teach first year physics students about basic newtonian concepts.
Similar to Field VR this simulation was initially developed for the HTC Vive Pro, this was later ported to the Oculus Quest for a more mobile option that could be cheaply used by multiple students at once.
“The purpose of this project was to test and teach first year physics students about basic newtonian concepts.”
Dissonance-VR, asks students widely utilised multiple-choice questions about the forces acting on a basketball. Students are then free to play in a world which is the realisation of their answer. If the student misunderstands what forces are acting on the ball, this world behaves in an unrealistic way leading to cognitive dissonance. A narrator guides the students to reconsider their choice and correct their misconception.
The project underwent multiple iterations in close partnership with educators from the ANU to ensure that the feeling of the physics changes was as accurate as possible to maximise the impact of the dissonance.
This application is currently being used as a teaching tool in the ANU Physics course.