Exploring the potential of VR and AR in education

A blustery Friday afternoon in February saw an eager crowd gather for a workshop on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), organised as part of this year’s Engage programme. Over thirty people attended the session, which was divided into two halves: a series of short introductory talks by five presenters, followed by an opportunity to explore the technologies in a more hands-on environment.

The introductory presentations featured a mix of approaches and applications and offered a good introduction to what can be done and the type of work that is going on.

Participant saving the life of a newborn baby in the ‘LIFE’ VR game

  • Chris Paton (Tropical Medicine): LIFE – a game for saving lives. Visit the LIFE project website.
  • Fridolin Wild & Will Guest (Brookes University): Performance Augmentation: professional learning in Industry 4.0
  • Henry Jordan (Experimental Psychology): Using a simulated 3D environment to study how people can anticipate a robot’s movements (using an Oculus DK1).
  • Richard Smith (Bodleian Radcliffe Science Library): The libraries’ VR service. Exploring the Gear VR equipment. See the Bodleian Libguide on VR.
  • Simon Purins (Age Exchange): Meeting in No Man’s Land. Using LayAR to help school students to produce original and engaging responses to material about World War I. Visit the project website.

Encouraged by the interest in the event and the discussions during the session, the Technology Enhanced Learning Team in Academic IT has decided to set up a new special interest group. The aim is to bring together those interested in the use of AR and VR for education, research and outreach. The inaugural meeting will take place some time next term, offering interested parties an opportunity to discuss the scope of the group and its proposed activities. To be notified about the forthcoming meeting, please contact ylva.berglund@it.ox.ac.uk

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