Research Proposal: In a mixed factorial design, children (ages 6 and 7) will view the same episode of Dino Dana in one of two formats: 1.) Traditional, passive viewing experience on television and 2.) an episode that breaks into VR at a few meaningful points. After initial outcome data is obtained, children will then view the episode in the other format to gather qualitative feedback on which experience they preferred and why.

Research Questions: Does the immersive experience of Virtual Reality within an episode of Dino Dana enhance children’s:

  1. Learning of the show content
  2. Comprehension of the storyline
  3. Engagement during the episode


Set-up: The equipment used in this study is the Oculus Rift, ASUS ROG G701VO laptop, and the Canon VIXIA HF R80 Camcorder. The camcorder will be placed in a way to capture the children’s reactions to the virtual reality experience. The OBS software will be ready to capture all events transpiring on the laptop’s monitor, chiefly the VR gameplay.

Pre-VR: The researcher will explain to the children partaking in the study the procedure of the experiment and how they should conduct themselves in virtual reality. The children will be reminded of the procedures to follow if they feel sick or bad and that they can exit the Rift at any time. Before entering the Rift, there will be a pre-game survey-interview between the researcher and child. This survey will be recorded with the camcorder.

During VR: During the experiment, the students will be immersed in the Dino Pool scene developed by Sinking Ship. While they are experiencing the scene, their person will be recorded via the camcorder. At the same time, what they are experiencing in virtual reality will be displayed on the laptop. The OBS will be used to record the laptop screen. There will be a few research assistants to monitor the child, maintain equipment, and record data. One research assistant will monitor the tether going from the Rift to the link box. The other research assistant will be a “child handle” and will stabilize the child if they appear to stumble or fall. This research assistant will also be monitoring the child for sweating or verbal comments.

Post-VR: After the Rift experience, children will be interviewed about their experience and how they felt about the VR experience. This interview will also be recorded with the camcorder. Finally, parents will complete a questionnaire about their family’s media habits as well as their child’s outdoor and museum experiences.