Virtual reality (VR) is fast becoming an exciting prospect in education, and for good reason; it has great potential for learning. However, it demands a new approach to design and construction over established media due to its uniquely immersive and experiential properties. Through our experiences of designing and developing educational VR, we have created a set of principles which address some of the requirements for pedagogically viable VR.
VR has primarily been used for gaming applications, however, it is becoming more accessible for educational purposes. There are few guidelines on how to adapt pedagogy for VR (Ritz and Buss, 2016) let alone the requisite changes in pedagogy required to increase the effectiveness of teaching when using VR (Parong and Mayer, 2018).
In this session, we will present the design principles we have created as part of a toolkit and demonstrate potential examples of their application. You will learn about the types of teaching which work well in VR and how teaching can’t simply be bolted on to VR, even if it is theoretically suitable. You will also explore why educational VR starts to form its own defined pedagogy which seeks to balance the best of the technology with your desired learning outcomes.
After this session, you will be able to identify VR use case potential: where and how you can best leverage VR learning in a blended environment. You’ll explore the pitfalls and setbacks that can thwart successful VR solutions, and learn strategic ways to circumvent them. During the session, we will discuss a case study where this approach was implemented successfully in a higher education context.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
Our project has adopted an incremental approach, drawing on small scale piloting and (re)evaluation to enhance our understanding of best practice when designing educational VR experiences. This has resulted in the toolkit to support the design and construction of educational VR, which we will share with participants. As we continue our work, the toolkit will be reiterated and available to session participants via our website.
Ritz, L.T. and Buss, A.R. (2016) A Framework for Aligning Instructional Design Strategies with Affordances of CAVE Immersive Virtual Reality Systems. TechTrends, 60(6), pp. 549-556. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-016-0085-9
Paraon, J and Mayer, R.E. (2018) Learning Science in Immersive Virtual Reality, Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000241