Designing a virtual reality experience for student project presentations

Poster Demonstration (Asynchronous) ID: 59411
  1. aaa
    Paul Wallace
    Appalachian State University

Abstract: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many university students around the world have been engaged in online learning over the past year. For many, the primary mode of instruction and interaction has been videoconferencing. The cognitive demands of these types of tools have been shown to cause frustration, irritability, and exhaustion, known as "Zoom fatigue". In addition to this condition, studies have shown that videoconference is not well suited for student project presentations. This paper reports on the design of a virtual reality (VR) environment for student project presentations, that provides a more immersive experience than videoconference and allows for a persistent space to display media, links, and discussion capabilities. Using the browser-based Frame VR platform, students in a graduate course in education displayed their group projects for a course assignment within a 3D environment. This system allowed for multiple types of media to be included on each group's wall within the space, including slides, photos, video, and external web links. Each group could add community discussion capabilities through integration with outside services, such as Flipgrid and Discord. Since the Frame VR environment is browser-based, it offers a seamless link from the 3D presentation space to these other online services. Results of a survey and student comments related to the experience show that this is an engaging and novel way of presenting class projects.

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