Academic Year 2019-2020



Luca Chittaro
Unit Credits
Teaching Period
Second Period
Course Type
Prerequisites. Students must be familiar with the basics of usability, computer programming and human-computer interaction.
Teaching Methods. The course includes both lectures and discussions of case studies. The latter are focused on analyzing and/or designing and/or implementing Virtual Reality and persuasive experiences.
Verification of Learning. 1) Oral Exam about the theoretical aspects of the course

2) small project about the practical implications of the concepts and theories examined in the course


The aim of the course is to introduce the principles, methodologies, and applications of the rapidly growing areas of Virtual Reality and Persuasive Technologies, with a comprehensive focus on how users experience them (User Experience).  The theoretical part of the course includes human perception of reality, psychological models of persuasion, and the factors that affect them. The methodological part of the course deals with the different design choices that have to be taken to create engaging and persuasive interactive systems and virtual experiences, as well as with the metrics and methods to evaluate their effectiveness. The application part of the course presents the different categories of applications of virtual reality, serious games, and persuasive technologies, including several real-world case studies. The course includes practical assignments that allow students to apply the evaluation techniques learned in the course to real-world case studies.


1.1 Knowledge and understanding: Students acquire specific multidisciplinary knowledge about virtual reality, persuasive technology, and user experience. They also learn to choose from various techniques for the design of virtual and persuasive experiences, depending on the objectives of the application, its context of use, and its target user.

1.2 Applied knowledge and understanding: Through a series of case studies and assignments, students acquire specific skills to apply knowledge of the discipline to the various aspects of real-world projects concerning virtual reality and persuasive user experiences.

Soft skills

2.1. Autonomy of judgment: Students acquire the ability to critically evaluate the different features of virtual reality and persuasive technology, and how each design choice can positively or negatively affect the effectiveness of the user experience in different contexts of use and for different categories of users.

2.2 Communication Skills: Students learn to describe virtual reality and persuasive user experiences in a technically correct way and using the appropriate terminology. The course also devotes several lessons to the topic of persuasive communication, and such knowledge can be used also for interpersonal communication.

2.3 Learning Abilities: The course provides the knowledge and tools that enable the student to deepen and address autonomously issues related to the design and evaluation of virtual reality and persuasive user experiences.

The course is organized into a series of lectures introducing the concepts and theories relevant to Virtual Reality and persuasive experiences,

complemented by practical examples and case studies,

both with desktop and mobile devices.

1) Materials provided by the professor in the e-learning web site.

2)  J. Jerald. The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality, ACM Press, 2015.

3) B.J. Fogg. Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Morgan Kaufmann, 2002.

3) R.M. Perloff. The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the 21st Century. Routledge, 2016.