The spatial learning method : facilitation of learning through the use of cognitive mapping in virtual reality

Johns, Cathryn (2002)

Bibliography: leaves 115-121.


When moving through an environment, people unconsciously build up a mental image, or cognitive map, of that environment. When later planning a trip or giving directions to someone else, they can mentally walk through the environment, remembering features relevant to their current task. This process of building up a cognitive map of a place and using that map later is called cognitive mapping. This dissertation presents the novel idea of using the cognitive mapping process to teach relationships between data items, called the spatial learning method. By creating a VE where the building or rooms represent data items, and the paths between the buildings or rooms indicte the relationships between the data items, visitors exploring the VE would not only be building up a cognitive map of the environment, but also learning the relationships implied by the layout.