A Journey Through Technology

Week 4: How can immersive virtual reality enhance gamification?

on September 30, 2016

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.


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/

4 responses to “Week 4: How can immersive virtual reality enhance gamification?

  1. unicyclepro says:

    I was shocked to find out that one of my high school students owns a VR system! A nice one that costs $2100. I believe it’s a Vive system. I was trying to get him to give me a tour, 🙂 but he said it’s down. The motherboard crashed. I jokingly asked if it’s because the VR experience was overheating the computer system. He is trying to fix it, but people that experienced that system were very immersed in the world he created, and downloaded. He has experience using Blender. It was funny because I was trying to ask my seniors if any of them have experience with Unity, the platform I need to research and share with you guys later. He then told me that he has VR equipment. It’s great students are interested in emerging technology and utilize it.


  2. aletakmay says:


    When students use virtual reality to explore and learn without knowing they are learning, they may just enjoy the exploration at the beginning; then they could add in shared writing that is open for them, but guided toward content standard. Or maybe they could create a Pictochart brochure to invite others to view the world, by highlighting main features that will draw viewers in. This might also be a great parent night activity students can share for younger students.

    For students who are tackling math shapes, parents and/or other audiences, could be drawn in with a set of brief instructions on how to view or create shapes on the 3D computer environment.



  3. Heather Corriere says:

    I think the immersive quality of VR is a good bet for achieving “flow”, but like any new technology there are going to be bumps, as unicyclepro noted with the VR system that was down. I’ve been impressed with VR applications on my wide desktop screen and think that sharing to a classroom screen has possibilities.


  4. stimey83 says:

    I have been thinking so much about the technology of VR that I kind of missed out on the whole concept of using it for gamification. I personally feel that trying to implement both VR and gamification is like putting the horse before the cart. I will try one first, and then the other. Once I get the hang of VR, then I will try to gamify it, or the reverse. Gamification seems to be a bigger concept so I would probably try VR before gamification.


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