Learn DNA: An interactive VR application for learning DNA structure

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Education is one of the important applications of Virtual Reality (VR). VR learning environments are engaging for students, and increase their interest in education. One reason for the success of VR in education is its ability to provide better spatial understanding. This is especially useful for teaching complex concepts that cannot easily be represented using traditional educational tools. This research presents an immersive VR application for teaching students about one such complex concept of DNA structure. Understanding the DNA structure requires strong spatial ability; therefore, this concept is a suitable candidate for VR. The application has been built in collaboration with subject matter experts in multiple iterations to understand both, the content required for this concept as well as the specific requirements of students from such a system. A holistic approach towards development of educational applications has been taken so that a usable system can be built. This thesis discusses the details of development of this application and user study with high school students to understand its usability and usefulness.

Virtual reality in education, Spatial ability, DNA
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