Authors: Courtney Hassenfeldt (University of New Haven (UNHcFREG)), Jillian Jacques (University of New Haven (UNHcFREG)), and Ibrahim Baggili (University of New Haven (UNHcFREG))



This work presents the first account of evaluating learning inside a VR experience created to teach Digital Forensics (DF) concepts, and a hands-on laboratory exercise in Bagging & Tagging a crime scene with digital devices. First, we designed and developed an immersive VR experience which included a lecture and a lab. Next, we tested it with (n=57) participants in a controlled experiment where they were randomly assigned to a VR group or a physical group. Both groups were subjected to the same lecture and lab, but one was in VR and the other was in the real world. We collected pre- and post- test results to assess the participants’ knowledge in DF concepts learned. Our experimental results indicated no significant differences in scores between the immersive VR group and the physical group. However, our results showed faster completion times in VR by the participants, which hints at VR being more time efficient, as virtual environments can be spun programmatically with little downtime.