Texas Tech University

Current Research and Publications

Current Project

User Acceptance of a Virtual Librarian: An Implementation Method Using IBM Watson in Virtual Immersive environment. (Submitted for Publication)


Safadel, P., & White, D. (2020). Effectiveness of Computer-Generated Virtual Reality (VR) in Learning and Teaching Environments with Spatial Frameworks. Applied Sciences, 10(16), 5438.

Abstract: In this paper, we highlight the benefits of using computer-generated VR in teaching instructional content that have spatial frameworks such as in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. Spatial ability scores were collected from a sample (N = 62) of undergraduate and graduate students. Students were required to complete an instructional tutorial in VR and computer desktop screening on DNA molecules, which included necessary information about DNA and nucleotide molecules. Students also completed a comprehensive test about the spatial structure of DNA and a feedback questionnaire. Results from the questionnaire showed media use and satisfaction to be significantly related. The results also showed a significant interaction between spatial ability levels (low, medium, and high) and media used on students' spatial understanding of the DNA molecules. It may be concluded that VR visualization had a positive compensating impact on students with low spatial ability. Continue reading>>

Safadel, P., & White, D. (2019). Facilitating molecular biology teaching by using augmented reality (AR) and protein data bank (PDB). TechTrends, 63(2), 188-193.

Abstract: Spatial understanding of molecules in molecular biology provides a better understanding of molecules in isolation and relation to their next elements. Augmented reality (AR) has recently been developed as a computer interface that enables the users to see the real world with virtual objects superimposed on it. We report a method that shows the use of AR and data provided from protein data bank (PDB) to facilitate the teaching of macromolecules in biology. Users can easily convert the molecules structures obtained from PDB to a 3D format and use it with an AR application to study the molecules from different perspectives. A sample of 60 college students was assigned randomly to one of two conditions namely 2D and AR. At the end of the experiment, participants completed a comprehensive test and then a satisfaction questionnaire. The results of the study showed a significant difference between 2D and AR in satisfaction, the media usability, perception, and apprehension. Continue reading>>

Ghasemi, E., Burley, H., & Safadel, P. (2019). Gender Differences in General Achievement in Mathematics: An International Study. New Waves-Educational Research and Development Journal, 22(1), 27-54.

Women's underrepresentation in mathematics-related careers continues to concern policymakers, economists, and educators. This study addressed the issue by examining data from two international databases, namely IEA's Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2015, and the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2017. Using country as the unit for our observations and meta-analysis techniques, the question of gender mathematics differences was investigated using standardized mean difference comparisons and variance ratios. Fourth- and eighth-grade girls and boys were also compared in terms of the number of students who reached the advanced international benchmark. The findings mostly supported previous findings in the related literature; no statistically significant large differences were observed comparing the performance of girls and boys in mathematics achievement and the number of high achievers. Moreover, boys were found to have more variability in mathematics achievement than girls. This finding further isolates the potential cause of women's underrepresentation in mathematics-related careers as policies driven by implicit and explicit cultural biases. Continue reading>>