A Virtual Reality Test for the Identification of Memory Strengths of Dyslexic Students in Higher Education
Katerina Kalyvioti (The University of Ioannina, Greece)
Tassos A. Mikropoulos (The University of Ioannina, Greece)
Abstract: Research suggests that Virtual Reality has a key role in the development of new diagnostic tools in neuropsychology and shows great rehabilitative potentials for individuals with specific neurological, intellectual and cognitive disabilities. In the case of dyslexia, a neurodevelopmental reading disorder, the use of Virtual Reality technologies has only been recently documented in a handful of studies. The main focus of these studies has been the identification of visuospatial strengths, the exploration of nonverbal problem solving treatment and the increase of awareness in educators and parents with children with dyslexia. Even fewer are the studies of Virtual Reality and the lifelong memory difficulties of adult individuals with dyslexia. With a more clinical, rather than technological, perspective the goal of this paper was to design specialized tasks in virtual environments to be part of a screening process/assessment of characteristic memory difficulties for undergraduate students diagnosed with dyslexia. Results showed that there were no statistically significant differences in the performance of students with dyslexia and students without dyslexia, a finding which highlights the development and successful use of compensatory memory strategies by the participants with dyslexia. Taking into consideration the real life representations, the multisensory approach, the increased sense of presence, the well-designed tasks and the recorded positive attitude of all participants, the study concludes that the use of Virtual Reality in neurological and neurodevelopmental memory disorders will be innovative and suggests that hands on Virtual Reality applications, become an indispensable part of these deficits' cognitive assessment and rehabilitation.
Keywords: assessment, compensatory strategies, dyslexia, memory, university students, virtual environments
Categories: H.4.m, J.5, L.0.0, L.1.1, L.2