eAccess Workshop: VR assisted teaching methods
Workshop: Applying extended realities to Higher Education
Dr Marco Gilardi – University of the West of Scotland
The COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021 forced higher education institutions to change the way they operate, with many institutions adopting online approaches during the pandemic and hybrid approaches in the year after it. These approaches mainly involved videoconferencing tools such as MS Teams and Zoom to deliver lectures, seminars, and labs. Although these methods are viable, engagement from students and peer-to-peer interaction suffered.
Emerging technologies such as extended realities (XR), an umbrella term that covers virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, have the potential to create immersion and presence for students, thus bringing them in the same three-dimensional virtual space.
Such immersion and presence are potentially more effective in inducing concentration and engagement when students attend classes than traditional videoconferencing tools. This highly interactive workshop will introduce participants to approaches and techniques required to apply extended realities (XR) in higher education settings.
The workshop will be delivered on an XR platform called FrameVR, participants will experience what an XR platform can provide to students and what it feels to attend an event from XR. The workshop will start with an introduction to extended realities and the technologies that implement them and will be followed by a discussion of pedagogies related to applying XR to teaching.
Barriers and accessibility will be discussed during the workshop, as well as potential approaches to solutions. Case studies from different disciplines will be presented, showing different types of XR can fit different learning requirements, and how spaces and assets can be used to create an engaging learning event in an interactive three-dimensional space.
Finally, participants will be then given the chance to gain some practice on how to plan a class delivered form an XR platform following a structured approach.