Multimodal platform delivery in immersive reality instruction for medical education

Nicolette Birbara, Alex Ong, Nicola Best, Andrew Yip, Claude Sammut, Tomasz Bednarz, Nalini Pather

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background: Immersive technologies such as virtual reality are gaining popularity in higher education for the development of virtual learning resources (VLRs). These allow students to become more involved in their learning experience,
enhancing their engagement. The learning effectiveness of VLRs delivered in multiple platforms, however, is yet to be evaluated.
Summary of Work: This study therefore aimed to investigate the overall effectiveness of multimodal platform delivery of VLRs for medical education. A
guided VLR in the form of a skull tutorial was developed using the Unity gaming platform. Participants were voluntarily recruited to asses stereoscopic and desktop delivery of the VLR (n = 52 and 40 respectively). A survey tool was
designed to gather student perceptions of the VLR for both delivery modalities.
Results: Most participants agreed that the VLR was interesting and engaging, provided an immersive experience and aided understanding of relevant
concepts for both stereoscopic and desktop delivery (93% and 94% respectively). Participants reported moderate to high levels of physical comfort and low to moderate levels of mental strain, although some physical discomfort and
disorientation was experienced, particularly in the stereoscopic delivery.
Discussion: Unlike most previous studies investigating immersive technologies, the current study directly compares both desktop and stereoscopic delivery modalities in immersive reality instruction. Overall perceptions of both
delivery modalities were positive, although feedback provided by participants highlights the importance of design to enhance the usefulness of VLRs.
Conclusions: This study suggests that desktop may be a favourable delivery modality for virtual content, reducing the degree of physical discomfort and disorientation associated with more immersive modalities, while still providing
the advantages of an immersive learning experience.
Take Home message: VLRs may provide a useful educational tool that present content from a different perspective not possible using other methods, and can be made easily accessible through desktop delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
EventOttawa-ICME 2018: International Conference on Medical Education - Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 10 Mar 201814 Mar 2018 (Abstracts) (Conference program) (Conference website)


ConferenceOttawa-ICME 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi
Internet address


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