student profile: Ms Kiran Ijaz


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Thesis work

Thesis title: VR-RIDES: Immersive Virtual Reality For Health And Well-being

Supervisors: Rafael CALVO , Naseem AHMADPOUR , Sharon NAISMITH

Thesis abstract:

A number of diseases can be prevented through active lifestyles. Yet, despite technological and not technological interventions, many people do not engage in exercise. Immersive virtual reality (VR) and video game technology present highly engaging and entertaining experiences. We use these technologies as the instrument to study motivation. Combination of these technologies can potentially engage users in health activity to promote wellbeing goals. Nonetheless, how different designs in these engaging experiences motivate and engage users to ultimately support wellbeing goals is largely unknown. Also, the use of engaging technology for wellbeing and physical activity has mixed findings that suggest non-effectiveness for long term adherence. There is a need to investigate the psychological constructs of wellbeing: how users engage with wellbeing technology’s designs? What motivates or demotivates them? And how constructs borrowed from psychology can aid better technological designs?

This thesis addresses these challenges by understanding user’s perceptions, evaluates immersive VR designs based on psychological constructs and informs future designs based on findings to promote wellbeing goals. An immersive virtual reality exergaming platform – VR-Rides was developed to explore designs for wellbeing over an iterative design, development and evaluation process. Furthermore, various designs, game narratives, and mechanics were developed to engage players in wellbeing activity. Evaluations were carried using psychological constructs of wellbeing to inform better designs those enhance user needs satisfaction, motivation, and engagement

The research applied quantitative research methodology, facilitated across five studies conducted in diverse social settings. Four studies particularly explored VR-Rides designs for participants engagement and motivation in an exergaming setup. Where in the fifth study we tested the feasibility of VR-Rides platform as an engaging medium to assess memory for age-related cognitive decline. VR-Rides give the opportunity to immerse both young and older adults in engaging experiences while seamlessly performing light to moderate physical activity. Despite the challenges of immersive media such as novelty and motion sickness, VR-Rides investigations confirm its usability for engaging experiences in physical activity and feasibility to use it as an assessment tool for cognitive decline.

The findings show psychological constructs have a central role in understanding users’ enjoyment and motivation with wellbeing platforms, highlight factors that could motivate them, and bridge the gap between technology designs and wellbeing constructs from psychology.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Ijaz, K., Bogdanovych, A., Trescak, T. (2017). Virtual worlds vs books and videos in history education. Interactive Learning Environments, 25(7), 904-929. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Wang, Y., Ijaz, K., Calvo, R. (2018). A Software Application Framework for Developing Immersive Virtual Reality Experiences in Health Domain. IEEE Life Sciences Conference: Multi-society perspectives on personalized healthcare and wearables 2017, Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]
  • Ijaz, K., Thomas, J., Ahmadpour, N. (2018). Immersive VR Learning Experiences: Do Expectations Meet Reality? 30th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2018): digital, physical, interactive, human, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
  • Ijaz, K., Wang, Y., Ahmadpour, N., Calvo, R. (2018). Physical Activity Enjoyment on an immersive VR exergaming platform. IEEE Life Sciences Conference: Multi-society perspectives on personalized healthcare and wearables 2017, Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]
  • Ijaz, K., Ahmadpour, N., Calvo, R. (2017). New Directions in Designing Exergames for the Whole Family. 29th Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (OZCHI 2017), New York: ACM Digital Library. [More Information]
  • Ijaz, K., Marks, B., Hartley, T., Gibbens, P., Thomas, J. (2017). The Immersive Learning Laboratory: employing virtual reality technology in teaching. 28th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference (AAEE 2017), Australia: Australasian Association for Engineering Education.
  • Ijaz, K., Wang, Y., Milne, D., Calvo, R. (2016). Competitive vs Affiliative Design of Immersive VR Exergames. 2nd International Joint Conference on Serious Games (JCSG 2016), Cham: Springer International Publishing. [More Information]
  • Ijaz, K., Wang, Y., Milne, D., Calvo, R. (2016). VR-Rides: Interactive VR Games for Health. 2nd International Joint Conference on Serious Games (JCSG 2016), Cham: Springer International Publishing. [More Information]

2018

  • Wang, Y., Ijaz, K., Calvo, R. (2018). A Software Application Framework for Developing Immersive Virtual Reality Experiences in Health Domain. IEEE Life Sciences Conference: Multi-society perspectives on personalized healthcare and wearables 2017, Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]
  • Ijaz, K., Thomas, J., Ahmadpour, N. (2018). Immersive VR Learning Experiences: Do Expectations Meet Reality? 30th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2018): digital, physical, interactive, human, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
  • Ijaz, K., Wang, Y., Ahmadpour, N., Calvo, R. (2018). Physical Activity Enjoyment on an immersive VR exergaming platform. IEEE Life Sciences Conference: Multi-society perspectives on personalized healthcare and wearables 2017, Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]

2017

  • Ijaz, K., Ahmadpour, N., Calvo, R. (2017). New Directions in Designing Exergames for the Whole Family. 29th Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (OZCHI 2017), New York: ACM Digital Library. [More Information]
  • Ijaz, K., Marks, B., Hartley, T., Gibbens, P., Thomas, J. (2017). The Immersive Learning Laboratory: employing virtual reality technology in teaching. 28th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference (AAEE 2017), Australia: Australasian Association for Engineering Education.
  • Ijaz, K., Bogdanovych, A., Trescak, T. (2017). Virtual worlds vs books and videos in history education. Interactive Learning Environments, 25(7), 904-929. [More Information]

2016

  • Ijaz, K., Wang, Y., Milne, D., Calvo, R. (2016). Competitive vs Affiliative Design of Immersive VR Exergames. 2nd International Joint Conference on Serious Games (JCSG 2016), Cham: Springer International Publishing. [More Information]
  • Ijaz, K., Wang, Y., Milne, D., Calvo, R. (2016). VR-Rides: Interactive VR Games for Health. 2nd International Joint Conference on Serious Games (JCSG 2016), Cham: Springer International Publishing. [More Information]

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.