Presented by KaChun Yu, Denver Museum of Nature and Science at the IMERSA 2016 Summit.
Digital video fulldome has long been heralded as a revolutionary educational technology; yet the research literature showing its effectiveness has been sparse. We briefly review what the current research says about the use of digital domes for learning. Based on results of a study using fulldome technologies to teach college undergraduates, we reveal how dome visuals shown on a large display, with a wide field-of-view and a deep sense of immersion, can lead to greater learning gains in the treatment audience compared to control groups (including those who saw similar content on a flat screen). Such improved performance may result from the reduced cognitive load that is possible when using an immersive virtual environment, with consequences not only for lectures in formal education, but also the continuous "narrative journeys" that are commonly found in fulldome film.