A Journey Through Technology

Week 4: How can immersive virtual reality enhance gamification?

Gamification can be explained as a method of teaching that utilizes some aspects of gaming in the classroom, such as experience points or badges. But what happens when you use immersive virtual reality with gamification? How does that contribute to the gamified environment? To answer this question we first need to look at what immersive virtual reality actually is.

According to Chifor & Stefanut (n.d.), virtual reality (VR) uses “computer-generated worlds” to allow users to experience interactions that mimic real-world interactions. “Through this approach, harmful and dangerous situations or hard to create conditions can be thoroughly analyzed as many times as necessary, without endangering the user. (Chifor & Stefanut, n.d., p. 119) One specific example of VR used in an educational setting is at The University of Queensland and The Australian National University. “A software package is used to introduce concepts of special relativity to students in a game-like environment where users experience the effects of travelling at near light speeds.” (McGrath et. al, 2010, p.1) This is a good example of using VR to access situations that would normally not be possible as a real-world experience.

But why would VR be a good fit in a gamified classroom? Radsky (2015) states that “virtual reality’s attraction is the immersive environment that it creates.”I see one of the goals of gamification as turning your classroom into a game, and virtual reality could really be an amazing way to do that. Students could navigate through a virtual world and learn about a new topic, possibly without even realizing that they are learning.

Virtual reality used to be an idea of the future. It was expensive and not accessible to most people, but now by using technology that most students carry with them every day, virtual reality is an idea of today.

References:

Chifor, M., & Stefanut, T. (n.d.). Immersive Virtual Reality application using Google Cardboard and Leap Motion technologies. 115-120. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from http://oaji.net/articles/2015/2024-1447175761.pdf

Mcgrath, D., Wegener, M., Mcintyre, T. J., Savage, C., & Williamson, M. (2010). Student experiences of virtual reality: A case study in learning special relativity.American Journal of Physics, 78(8), 862. doi:10.1119/1.3431565

Radsky, A. (2015, June 19). Adopting Virtual Reality for Education – Alchemy: Virtual Reality Communications Skills. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from http://alchemylearning.com/adopting-virtual-reality-for-education/

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