Kimberly Hieftje, Research Scientist, Yale School of MedicineTrack 2 HEALTHCARE
Invite Only VR is a story-based virtual reality videogame intervention focused on vaping prevention in teens. With input from over 100 teens and school staff The game was developed by the play4REAL XR Lab with funding from Oculus and in partnership with prototyping company, PreviewLabs, Inc. In the game, the player must navigate different types of peer pressure, including the pressure to vape in high pressure social situations. Invite Only VR uses voice recognition software, which allows the player to practice refusing peers in real time. The game takes 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. Recently, we conducted a non-equivalent control groups design of 287 participants in 7th and 8th grade across three middle schools from a Connecticut school district with a 6 month follow up. In our session, we will talk about the following topics: 1) our experience with creating and implementing Invite Only VR with the goal of reaching teens facing serious public health issues like vaping. 2) our experience with partnering with a school district to not only bring Invite Only VR into the classrooms, but to help them continue to use the technology after we leave, and 4) our research study results, including students experience with VR.
From this session, attendees will gain new knowledge regarding: 1) the development, evaluation, and implementation of of Invite Only VR, as a case study, 2) the barriers and facilitators related to implementing VR in classrooms through our experience of working with three middle schools 3) potential ways to facilitate engagement and training opportunities in VR for teachers, 4) caution and optimism about the future of bringing virtual reality to schools.