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Role of Virtual Reality in Geography and Science Fieldwork Education

Minocha, Shailey; Tilling, Steve and Tudor, Ana-Despina (2018). Role of Virtual Reality in Geography and Science Fieldwork Education. In: Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series, Learning from New Technology, 25 Apr 2018, Belfast.

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Abstract

Fieldwork has a long tradition in geography, and in certain sciences, notably geology, biology and environmental sciences. Fieldwork involves leaving the classroom and engaging in learning and teaching through first-hand experience of phenomena in outdoor settings. Exploration in natural habitats introduces students to the complexity and unpredictability of the real world, stimulates their curiosity, and increases their interest in scientific inquiry. However, over the last decade, there has been a decline in field-study opportunities in schools.

This policy paper describes the first extensive user-centered research programme into the role of technology-enabled virtual field trips as a means for improving the effectiveness of the outdoor fieldwork experience. It draws on a year-long research project that investigated how Google Expeditions, a smartphone-driven mobile virtual reality application, bridges virtual fieldwork with physical field trips and facilitates inquiry-based fieldwork and experiential learning. It examines the role of Google Expeditions in primary and secondary school science and geography, outlining the opportunities and challenges of integrating mobile virtual reality in schools and the practical implications of our research for fieldwork education in further and higher education.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2018 The Authors
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Virtual Reality Research Award: Pedagogical and usability evaluations of Google ExpeditionsNot SetThe Open University and Google Virtual Reality Research Award
Keywords: fieldwork education; geography; Google Cardboard; Google Expeditions; mobile virtual reality; outdoor fieldwork; physical field trips; virtual fieldwork; virtual field trips; virtual reality
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 55876
Depositing User: Shailey Minocha
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 09:22
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 06:35
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/55876
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