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  1. While virtual reality (VR) might be effective in engaging learners with authentic and immersive learning experiences, current literature is lacking in understanding the relationship between learners’ perceived cognitive loads and motivational support. In addition, it is unclear as to how the incorporation of game-based learning strategies might impact the overall efficacy of VR for instructional purposes. The presentation reports a NSF-funded project that utilizes the HTC Vive VR system to host a game-based VR learning environment for teaching introductory archaeology classes in a US Midwestern university. The presentation will also report the results of multiple regression analyses to delineate relationships between cognitive loads and motivational components based on survey responses of 106 participants. The presentation will conclude by discussing game-based VR design opportunities and challenges in terms of the role of motivational design, design efficiencies and their unintended consequences.
  2. Virtual reality (VR) holds great potential for instructional and educational purposes as it is capable of immersing learners cognitively, physiologically, and emotionally by transcending physical limitations and boundaries, so learners can acquire experiences otherwise unattainable. A case in point is a VR learning environment that allows archaeology instructors to teach a variety of concepts and skills on archaeological fieldwork without bringing students to actual archaeological sites. A VR environment would also enable students to practice newly acquired skills in a safer and more affordable space than physically visiting the sites. VR alone, however, is insufficient to engage learners. Therefore, we identify game-based learning strategies to guide the development of the VR archaeology environment by incorporating game structure, game involvement, and game appeal into the design. The presentation reports an NSF-funded project that utilizes the HTC Vive VR system to host a game-based learning environment for teaching introductory archaeology classes in a US Midwestern university. The manuscript reports the design, development, and formative evaluation of the VR archaeology game grounded in learners’ motivational and cognitive processes. In particular, the formative evaluation findings, based on 40 participants' responses, reveal various design opportunities and challenges for designing game-based learning experience in virtual realitymore »environments.« less