I am exploring the next steps in developing Virtual Reality learning environments.

As much as I would like to create an end-to-end task based learning strategy, I think my next step will be individual environments for different trades, with a gradually increasing number of scenarios to participate in.

A Teacher can book a “classroom” for their class and students, login and use the environment to either explain concepts or allow students to complete tasks.

Each “classroom” would have “scenarios” (essentially a task that you want the students to participate in) and the teacher can select a “scenarios” from the menu. Alternately you could set up different “scenarios” for different students working in the same environment. Login and you find yourself at the train station and you need to walk to work. You will probably meet your classmates or other students going to work in other locations.

Example of classrooms:

  • Hairdressing salon for Hairdressers
    • Scenario 1: wash hair/dry hair
    • Scenario 2: colour hair
    • etc
  • Commercial kitchen for Chefs
    • Scenario 1: Prepare Soups
    • Scenario 2: Prepare desserts
    • etc
  • Automotive workshop for Motor mechanics
    • Scenario 1: Dismantle gearbox
    • Scenario 2: change oil
    • etc
  • And of course my favorite domestic installation for electrical.
    • Scenario 1: wire house.
    • etc

Here are the current challenges I am investigating:

  1. Multi player environments and hosting
    • The multi player environment allowing for up to 10 students in a class; managing login credentials; hosting.
  2. Understanding each of the scenarios and determining correct responses.
    • By this I mean that if you ask a student to do something we need to know what the correct response looks like so that we can determine if the student’s interaction was successful. In addition, understanding the correct response determines the types of materials within the environment that need to be interacted with.
  3. Interpreting fine motor skills.
    • There are going to be tasks that require fine motor skills to complete the task successfully. Two options for achieving this are the use of Haptic gloves or using a Leap motion sensor. We have done some experiments with leap motion and are yet to experiment with Haptic gloves.
  4. Providing learning support
  5. Assessment
  6. Accessibility

 

Understanding each of the scenarios and determining correct responses is where the VET community can contribute. I am looking for interested people to provide tasks and correct responses to use as scenarios. You get credit for your work, which can be used as player time. There will be reasonably strict guidelines for submitted scenarios but we are happy to work with people to develop the skills.

I am working through a couple of options for learning support.  The easiest would be text based learning material mapped to the scenarios. This would be part of submitting a scenario that it would come with learning support. Alternately I am looking at video. Same mapping concept but there is some good research on gaming apps that use video to encourage in app purchases that they can increase participation and uptake. “Give your gamers an incentive to engage by offering them rewarded video ads – that enhance gameplay and become part of the story.” This will need a bit of thought but would make a lot of difference to user engagement.

Assessment is self-fulfilling. If you end up with the correct result then you completed the assessment. Again understanding the correct response for the scenario becomes pretty important.

2018 should be the year of affordable all in one head set. No cables and worth approx. $500 each. I will let you know more as this evolves.

How do you get involved:  call me! 0413316373

Its simple, if you want your trade to become available then you need to talk to me and we can work on how we get things up and running. We start small because there is a reasonably steep learning curve in understanding the pedagogy of VR.

Creating your commercial kitchen, hair dressing saloon or automotive workshop isn’t the problem. Including all the necessary bits and pieces that respond in the correct way is where the challenge lies.