The Interplay Between Presence and Learning

Ochs, Carli; Sonderegger, Andreas (2022). The Interplay Between Presence and Learning Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 3, p. 742509. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/frvir.2022.742509

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The highly immersive Virtual reality (VR) headset is gaining popularity in multiple application domains. In the context of learning, it has been proposed to be beneficial by increasing presence and attention in noisy and distracting environments, both factors that are considered important for learning. Despite intensified research efforts in recent years, empirical knowledge of experimental research addressing the link between presence and learning in specific environmental contexts is still rather scarce. In this study following an experimental mixed-method approach, the link between presence and memorization as a particular form of learning is addressed by comparing memorization with a highly immersive VR headset to a less immersive system (desktop screen) in noisy and calm learning environments. Using a 2 (learning location) x 2 (learning device) between-subjects design, 63 participants interacted with one of the two devices in either of the two environments. As expected, VR headset users reported higher presence levels. While participants subjectively evaluated the VR headset as a better device for learning, the memorization test scores were higher for desktop screen users in both calm and noisy environments. Learning location did not show significant effects. Attention distraction and context-dependent learning are discussed with regard to the unexpected results, while implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Business School > Institute for New Work
Business School > Institute for New Work > New Forms of Work and Organisation
Business School


Ochs, Carli and
Sonderegger, Andreas0000-0003-0054-0544


B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science




Frontiers Research Foundation




Andreas Sonderegger

Date Deposited:

23 Feb 2022 12:51

Last Modified:

23 Feb 2022 12:51

Publisher DOI:





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