VR & AR
The term spatial ability within Augmented Reality (AR) and VR environment is of great importance. AR and VR can be applied to learning environment where learners can either immerse into virtual world or partially be associated with a virtual object on a real ground. In both situations, learners can participate in experiences which never can happen in real world. These interactions with virtual objects enhance use of multi-sensory, multi-perceptual, and multi-dimensional skills and increase learnability of the users. On the other hand, using VR/ AR as computer-aided instruction can help user to be an active learner and experience the given task on his/ her own pace without any interruption. It also gives the learners the ability to experience scenarios which are very hard to control in real world. In other words, this is an environment which is learner-centered and allowing learners to control almost everything for their learning success. Moreover, VR can be used to train spatial behavior in general. However, it is still not clear which feature of spatial skills can be trained. Especially noteworthy is that handicapped children can gain substantial competence after training in VR environment and could apply it in real environment. Especially interesting is to know that there is a gender impact on spatial abilities (Bosco, Longoni, & Vecchi, 2004). Studies show, that there is no clear differences regarding performance in VR. However, it seems that males perform better in navigation. The finding also shows that women are more disposed to cyber sickness. To see if spatial skills can be applicable in AR environment, I found no clear evidence on the effectiveness of AR as spatial ability training tool.
References
Bosco, A., Longoni, A. M., & Vecchi, T. (2004). Gender effects in spatial orientation: cognitive profiles and mental strategies. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18(5), 519–532. doi:10.1002/acp.1000