Virtual reality is making its way into the education stream and while it is an exciting platform to use, its relative newness often results in hesitancy when it comes to adoption. To combat psychological barriers to adoption, empirical evidence assists in the validation of its use. Research has been conducted by Dr. Shiva Pedram, UX researcher at the SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, to better understand the process of experiential learning in VR. The mixed-method approach sampled over 120 students across the Illawarra in grades 5-11. Devika’s VR product, Kolb, was utilized to provide students with the immersive experience of Antarctica.
Research Purpose and Data Collection
The research consists of two separate papers which examine;
- Whether students’ preferred learning styles affect their learning experience in VR and,
- Students’ learning experiences in VR-based learning environments
Data was collected via a questionnaire in three stages (before, during and after) to respectively measure pre-existing perceptions, expose students to VR learning experiences and assess post-training problem-solving skills.
The papers reveal VR’s potential to benefit high school students through its immersive quality which facilitates experiential learning. The key findings include;
- The VR learning environment, Kolb, has features that support the design of learning tasks and can enhance students’ performance,
- Students studying science would benefit from VR learning sessions which involve 3D thinking or are unable to be experienced first-hand and,
- VR accommodates different individuals regardless of their preferred learning style.
Many students have a preferred learning style, and as there are nine identified varying learning styles (Kolb et al. 2014), teachers can have difficulty catering to each student. The benefit of experiential learning, studied through the Kolb Antarctica Experience, is that VR accommodates each learning style. The implications of this include increasing educators efficiency and effectiveness when teaching and providing students with learning experiences suited to their learning patterns through VR-based learning environments.
To access a finalized copy of the results upon publication, email Devika here.
More on Kolb...
Kolb has been officially launched 14 March 2018 and has been downloaded worldwide over 10 000 times. Kolb currently consists of one scenario, the Antarctica experience, but has been launched with the objective to create an array of scenarios, all mapped to the high school learning curriculum. Check out the experience here.
Devika offers trials of the Kolb, the Antarctica Experience, at schools during or after hours. With the assurance that experiences such as Kolb are beneficial to the learning process, make an appointment by emailing us here.