Planning a Virtual Experience Research Accelerator (VERA)

Would you like to be able to run a virtual reality (VR) user study with a large and diverse participant population, for free?

Attend one of our information and discussion sessions to find out how we are working to make this a possibility. We will hold two sessions on April 6, 2022: 0900-1030 EDT (Zoom link) and 1500-1630 EDT (Zoom link). In these sessions we will share our vision and our ongoing work/plans towards a US National Science Foundation proposal to build a Virtual Experience Research Accelerator (VERA), a community resource that will enable VR researchers to carry out studies using large and diverse populations, thus enabling high-quality human subject research studies that will generalize to the population at large. 

Following on previous sessions at IEEE VR 2022 and IEEE ISMAR 2021, we will: provide an overview of VERA and open up the floor for discussion on multiple topics.

We provide a brief summary of VERA below, and a more extensive description at this link.

What is VERA and who is it for?

VERA is a community resource for virtual reality (VR) researchers that will enable VR researchers to carry out studies using large and diverse populations, thus enabling high-quality human subject research studies that will generalize to the population at large. VERA personnel, comprising investigators, paid staff, and volunteers from the VR community, will coordinate and facilitate the turn-key execution of VR user studies carried out with a carefully curated large and diverse VERA participant pool. VR community researchers will submit research study proposals to VERA, the studies will be run with the participant pool, and the resulting measures will be collected from each participant and stored in a centralized repository. 

Why do we need VERA?

The potential benefits of VR should be available to everyone, regardless of their age, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, class, ability, neurodiversity, etc., but the vast majority of VR research studies rely on relatively small convenience samples of college-aged participants, e.g., majority White and middle to upper class undergraduate students, which results in study populations that are not representative of the population at large, and findings that are not generalizable. 

Who is involved?

This effort is led by Greg Welch, Tabitha Peck, Valerie Jones Taylor, Gerd Bruder, and Jeremy Bailenson, with Nahal Norouzi , Ryan Schubert, and others

Please contact Greg Welch at Welch@ucf.edu if you have any questions.