BIOLOGY: Biological Systems (Student Age 10-11)
University of Glasgow, Glasgow UK
Very recently, I started to look into the possibility of studying the effect of virtual reality in education, with the aim to analyse the impact that this type of technology has, not only on the understanding of difficult concepts in science education, but also on the learning experience that teachers and students share every day in the classroom and the enjoyment that comes from this mutual exchange. In the last few months, I have started a collaboration with Avantis, and implemented ClassVR in my teaching by planning, in collaboration with my colleagues, some lessons for the PGDE primary student teachers, with a balanced blending of traditional as well as innovative effective pedagogy techniques.
A pit-stop tour of active learning methods in preparation for an on-campus teaching session was organised for our PGDE primary student teachers who, in a meta-level approach, had the chance to test several teaching tools. Pupils moved from traditional peak flow meters and body organ aprons, to innovative augumented reality t-shirts showing the internal organs, and virtual reality ClassVR headsets with an immersive virtual tour around the body. The children explored the different organs and body components available to them in the human anatomy playlist.
The following week, PGDE primary student teachers had to plan a lesson on body systems, in a micro-teaching cooperative style, for the primary six pupils from Corpus Christi Primary School, who were invited to visit the School of Education.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
The results were amazing: we found that it improved engagement and enjoyment of the lesson with pupils being able to richly describe and explain what they learnt; we found that PGDE students were confident in the delivery of the lesson’s objectives; and, we found that experiences which would not have otherwise been available, were easy to embed into science teaching and learning.
To contribute to the School’s research performance by conducting and eventually publishing new research on the application of immersive VR in the understanding of abstract concepts in science.
To support trainee teachers to develop confidence in applying immersive VR and AR technology to their own teaching.