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Browsing by Subject "XR technology"

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  • Granat, Arttu (2024)
    Educational technology is advancing rapidly, with VR (virtual reality) emerging as a promising branch of XR (extended reality) technology for educational purposes. Utilizing head-mounted displays (HMD), immersive VR experiences immerse users in a virtual environment, limiting their awareness of the physical world. VR proves valuable in education by complementing traditional teaching methods, offering experiences impossible in the physical realm. Studies indicate enhanced affective factors, understanding, motivation, and memorization among students. In biology education, VR serves as a visual aid, helping students grasp complex biological concepts difficult to visualize from a two-dimensional textbook. It also shows potential in supplementing hands-on activities like laboratory work and anatomical dissections, experiences outside classrooms, and sustainability education. However, challenges persist in VR's educational application, including uncertainty about learning outcomes, health concerns, high costs, and a general lack of expertise in VR design and pedagogical implementation. Educational VR design has thus far lacked a foundation in pedagogy and learning theories. This thesis aims to address this gap by reflecting on the development of a pedagogically meaningful VR experience within sustainability education. Collaborating with the Global Campus project of the University of Helsinki, the thesis introduces a VR experience integrated into the immersive virtual sustainability learning experience, Serendip. The design process involved literature research, user and expert interviews, and consideration of learning theories such as constructivist learning, experiential learning, flow theory, gamification, CTML, SDL, and CLT. Specific aspects of VR design, like immersion levels and prior knowledge of users, were also considered. The thesis's significance lies in pioneering pedagogy-based design for educational VR, particularly addressing complex, abstract, and multidisciplinary subjects. It emphasizes the need for collaboration among pedagogy, content, and VR animation experts in future educational VR design. This work serves as a potential template and inspiration for further research in the field, aiming to refine the integration of pedagogical principles into VR experiences for education.