The VRSciT project (2020-1-PT01-KA204-078597) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Reasons to Use Virtual Reality in Education and Training Courses and a Model to Determine When to Use Virtual Reality

Study Field
Environmental Education, Culture and tourism
Summary
Many studies have been conducted on the use of virtual reality in education and training. This article lists examples of such research. Reasons to use virtual reality are discussed. Advantages and disadvantages of using virtual reality are presented, as well as suggestions on when to use and when not to use virtual reality. A model that can be used to determine when to use virtual reality in an education or training course is presented.
Innovative VR tools and techniques
● The most important potential contribution of 3D learning environments (3DLEs) to conceptual understanding is through facilitation of spatial knowledge development.
VR in education
● The use of virtual reality (VR) in education can be considered as one of the natural evolutions of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) or computer-based training (CBT).
● There are unique capabilities of virtual reality, and the majority of uses included aspects of constructivist learning. Studies showed potential educational effectiveness for special needs students. The role of the teacher changed to a facilitator. Students enjoy using predeveloped applications and developing their own virtual worlds.
● A virtual environment can stimulate learning and comprehension because it provides a tight coupling between symbolic and experiential information.
● VR has the potential to make a difference, to lead learners to discoveries, to motivate and encourage and excite. The learner can participate in the learning environment with a sense of presence, of being part of the environment.
● VR promotes the best and probably only strategy that allows students to learn from non-symbolic first-person experience. Since many students fail in school because they do not master the symbol systems of the disciplines they study, although they are perfectly capable of mastering the concepts that lie at the heart of the disciplines, it can be concluded that VR provides a route to success for children who might otherwise fail in our education system as it is currently construed.
● VR motivates students. It requires interaction and encourages active participation rather than passivity. Some types of virtual reality, for example, collaborative virtual reality using text input with virtual worlds, encourage or require collaboration and provide a social atmosphere.
● Researchers attribute the success of simulations to the empowerment of students, the unique instructional capabilities, the support for new instructional approaches, the development of cognitive skills, and the development of attitudes.
● VR allows a learner to proceed through an experience during a broad period not fixed by a regular class schedule.
● Do not use virtual reality if (1) no substitution is possible for teaching/training with the real thing. (2) interaction with real humans, either teachers or students, is necessary. (3) using a virtual environment could be physically or emotionally damaging. (4) using a virtual environment can result in "literalization", a simulation so convincing that some users could confuse the model with reality. (5) VR is too expensive to justify using, considering the expected learning outcome.
Reference
Veronica S. Pantelidis (2009), Reasons to Use Virtual Reality in Education and Training Courses and a Model to Determine When to Use Virtual Reality, Themes in Science and Technology Education, Special Issue, Klidarithmos Computer Books, Pages 59-70.

The VRSciT Project

The VRSciT project (2020-1-PT01-KA204-078597) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.