Virtual Terrorist Attack on the Computer Science Building: Design and Evaluation of a Research Methodology


This paper describes the design and initial evaluation of a virtual environment and associated research model for the examination of affectively intense learning. The environment is a virtual computer science building on a university campus, which includes a number of affectively intense effects, such as explosions, fires, and interactive tools for controlling these events. The research model is based on the assumption that effective learning in these types of environments will occur with high levels of perceived affective intensity, presence, and knowledge acquisition. An initial evaluation of the environment and research model was carried out with five participants, within the context of a terrorist-attack scenario. The results indicated that both physiological and behavioral responses corresponded to affectively intense events in the environment, and that the environment and model can serve as effective tools for the systematic exploration of affectively intense learning with virtual environments.


Business and Information Technology

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


United States. Army
University of Missouri--Rolla. Instructional Software Development Center

Keywords and Phrases

Affectively Intense Learning; Learning Technologies; Virtual Reality

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type




Publication Date

01 Jan 2004

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