Virtual Worlds as Gateways to Virtual Reality Learning Simulations

Date & Time

Aug 5th at 12:45 PM until 1:30 PM

Track

Design 
Exploratory 

Location

Rating ( votes)

Voice-enabled virtual world platforms have been replaced with virtual reality (VR) applications in the lexicon of noteworthy new educational simulation technologies. Yet, the same impediments to the wider use of early virtual world technologies now inhibit the wider educational use of the available VR technologies. The main impediments to the wider use of VR simulations include the high cost of VR headsets, high cost of custom content creation, limited proven applications, and limited use (by early adopter faculty). ...DEVELOPMENTS TO PRESENT... New features in virtual world viewers enable [older] virtual world platforms to be used with [newer] VR applications. In turn, the use of retrofitted virtual world viewers in concert with existing virtual world content overcomes some of the impediments to the more wide-spread use of VR applications, including the high cost of custom content creation and limited proven applications. Students typically find the use of virtual world learning simulations in online courses to be more engaging than traditional online learning activities (see the data @ https://tinyurl.com/yafa6zsk). Still, some virtual world simulations are rated more highly than other simulations (see the data @ https://tinyurl.com/qsgz4ec). In the same way different virtual world simulations are rated differently by students, the expectation is that VR content needs to be prototyped and user-tested. Yet, since VR applications lack the needed in-app building tools, the established OpenSimulator virtual world platform (with in-world building tools) can be used for content creation -- to convert into VR simulations (for prototyping and user-testing). Another development related to the conversion of existing virtual world simulations into VR-ready simulations is the finding that converted virtual world content can be viewed in a Google Cardboard headset – to mitigate the high cost of more sophisticated VR headsets. Finally, the use of traditional virtual world simulations to create VR learning experiences will most likely benefit the educators already familiar with the available virtual world platforms and VR equipment. Still, retrofitting virtual world simulations for VR use will contribute to the faculty user base. In turn, any increase in the group of faculty using VR is likely to multiply the level of interest in this new technology (as more educators and students use the technology and tell others about their experiences). VIEW THIS SESSION [Mediasite player]