Using Fitbits and Heart Rate Variance (HRVa) to Understand Preservice Teacher Experiences in Extended Reality

Extended reality (XR) is increasingly used to support preservice and inservice teacher training. Its use in teacher education has shown promise in improving future educators’ engagement, self-confidence, and noticing skills. Despite this evidence, the field lacks innovative measures to assess outcomes such as those offered through biometric data collection. This article addresses this gap by presenting the findings of a study involving 18 PSTs, who watched a 360 video of an elementary classroom while their heart rate data was gathered. Heart rate variance (HRVa) was calculated and then compared with both their feelings of presence as measured by the eXtended Reality Presence Scale (XRPS; to measure immersion) and recordings of where they looked in the video (to measure engagement). Results indicated that higher HRVa scores meant more engagement. While presence was not significantly correlated, some XRPS items showed positive and negative relationships with HRVa scores. The findings have implications for both future research and for teacher education use of health measurement tools.

Ferdig, R., Kosko, K., & Gandolfi, E. (2023). Using Fitbits and heart rate variance (HRVa) to understand preservice teacher experiences in extended reality. In E. Langran (Ed.), Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1173-1179). New Orleans, LA: SITE.