AISSA VR Research Project

Students Creating Virtual Worlds for Learning: A collaborative Research Project

 

This world first study is unique in the international context due to its longitudinal approach to investigating the efficacy of 360 VR for deeper learning in schools across STEM subjects, and in genuinely involving teachers as co-researchers to build this evidence base.

This exciting VR research project puts in the hands of students a new way to demonstrate their learning and enables them to create educational content for other students. This student created content can then be shared within their school and across schools. Our research investigates a 360° virtual reality, no code content authoring platform in real classroom settings, to create new knowledge about the impact of VR on student learning, pedagogies that promote the best student outcomes using VR, and where in the curriculum the learning affordances of VR are most evident.

‘this project is a unique opportunity for students to collaborate on projects, using footage that they’ve created themselves to make a product that is going to be used by other students’
Steve Grant, Director of Innovation and Creativity, Trinity College

An increasing number of schools are investing in VR technology and there is limited evidence of how teachers can use this technology to accelerate student learning and what the learning outcomes are in primary and secondary contexts. The aim of this research is to provide educators with evidence that can be used to inform the use of VR in their classrooms.

‘it’s important to us that when we’re looking at a new way of thinking about teaching and learning, we bring to it a really rigorous academic viewpoint.’
Carolyn Grantskalns CE AISSA

In this research project the AISSA is partnering with nationally and internationally recognised expert Associate Professor Erica Southgate, University of Newcastle and VRTY, an innovative VR company specializing in educational software that is designed for student agency and creativity. Teachers from Trinity College, Pembroke School and SEDA College SA are co-researchers in this project.

 

 

 

Press Release

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

WORLD-FIRST VIRTUAL REALITY CLASSROOM STUDY

Three schools in South Australia will spearhead world-leading research into virtual reality (VR) technology and its place in the next generation classroom.

This ground-breaking VR research project puts in the hands of students a new way to demonstrate their learning and enables them to create educational content for other students.

The Students Create Virtual Worlds for Learning research project is led by the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) in partnership with nationally and internationally recognised expert Associate Professor Erica Southgate, University of Newcastle and VRTY, an innovative VR company specializing in educational software designed for student creativity. Teachers from Trinity College, Pembroke School and SEDA College SA are co-researchers in this project.

Students Create Virtual Worlds for Learning is the first international longitudinal study of VR in real classrooms, where teachers collect evidence about student learning over a year,” said Ms Grantskalns.

“We are particularly interested in emerging pedagogies and how students might learn. Schools are investing in VR technology but there is limited evidence of how teachers can use this technology to accelerate student learning.”

The study will involve a Year 9 class at Pembroke School, a Year 11 / 12 class at SEDA College SA and a Year 7 class at Trinity College. These students’ VR products will be used in other classes at the respective school with continual feedback to the students who created the VR content.

Associate Professor Erica Southgate of the Education Faculty at the University of Newcastle, an internationally acclaimed expert in VR, is the lead researcher.

Results and findings of Students Create Virtual Worlds for Learning are expected to be published nationally and internationally in 2022 and 2023.

CAROLYN GRANTSKALNS
Chief Executive
Association of Independent Schools of South Australia

Research Methodology

The project will utilise a mixed methodology, participatory research approach that includes student surveys and interviews, written reflections, quizzes, and an analysis of student virtual worlds to understand how 360-degree virtual reality can develop the deeper learning outcomes of content mastery, creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, communication and self-directed learning.

AISSA VR Research Project Team

AISSA

Carolyn Grantskalns, Chief Executive
Monica Williams, Senior Educational Consultant

 

University of Newcastle

Dr Erica Southgate, Associate Professor of Education VR School Project

 

VRTY

Kingston Lee-Young, CEO

 

Trinity College

Steve Grant, Director of Innovation and Creativity
Andrew Norwood, Director of Digital Learning
Simon Ostrowski, Science Coordinator
Jessica Simons, Mathematics and Science Teacher

 

Pembroke School

Howard MacPherson, Head of Enterprise
Ella Camporeale, Assistant Head Design and Technology

 

SEDA College South Australia

Ashley Jenner, Director of Learning Innovation