- What constituted an “interesting VR learning experience” varied by the student. For some rural students, a VR subway experience was a valuable experience. For others, visiting the Amazon jungle or Great Wall of China was perceived as a relevant learning experience.
- One very crucial point raised in the Foundry10 report was the vital role that content creators and VR developers play regarding media literacy and creating experiences deemed factual.
Using VR As Constructivist Learning
Students at St. Kieran’s, a school in the Irish town of Broughal, recently went on a field trip to Clonmacnoise, a nearby site with historic ruins. Nothing unusual or exceptional about that, right? This sort of thing happens in schools around the world. What makes this school field trip surprising is what the students did when they came back to the classroom.
The students, part of a virtual reality pilot program in Irish schools, used the MissionV platform for creating a virtual model of the Clonmacnoise in OpenSim and then viewed it using Oculus Rift headsets.
An essential element of course design that is overlooked: designing opportunities (both digital and analog) for students to create social bonds (through interaction) is equally as important as the course content or technology used in a project-based learning activity.
The theory of constructivist-based learning, according to Dr. Seymour Papert, “is grounded in the idea that people learn by actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information ‘poured’ into their heads.”
In this VR Clonmacnoise example, these 10–12-year-old students utilized both technology (maths, scripting, 3D modeling, programming), creative (archaeology, history, design) and social skills (project management, collaboration, face-to-face interaction) in a constructivist-based project to create a constructivist-based virtual reality experience.