Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Ann E. Barron, Ed.D.

Keywords

Virtual Environment, Eye Tracking, Navigating

Abstract

An experimental study at a large research university evaluated the role of image resolution on 60 participant's locomotion tasks in an interior virtual desktop wayfinding environment. Four virtual environments were developed using different resolutions for wayfinding images including high level 150 ppi, medium high level 100 ppi, medium level 75 and low level 30 ppi images. The environment was designed to accommodate forward, backward, sideways and figure 8 locomotion tasks as defined by the VEPAB. The effects of the different image resolutions on time-on-task performance scores to navigate through the environment, object-based visual attention as recorded by two eye movements - saccade and gaze fixation detections in viewing the images and the perceived usability of the computer system and virtual environment as measured by two post tests - the System Usability Scale and the Virtual Environment Presence Questionnaire were evaluated. Eye movement scores were collected with an eye tracking system that used the dark pupil method of eye analysis with a video lipstick camera. Results indicate that image resolution has a statistically (p<.05) significant effect on time-on-task performance wayfinding tasks and on object-based visual attention as indicated by gaze fixation scores. Participants fixated longer on lower resolution images, which affected their time-on-task performance. Resolution did not have a statistically significant effect on the perceived usability of the computer system or virtual environment.

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