ERIC Number: ED359950
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Learning in Virtual Reality.
The essence of the computer revolution is yet to come, for computers are essentially generators of realities. Virtual reality (VR) is the next step in the evolutionary path; the user is placed inside the image and becomes a participant within the computational space. A VR computer generates a direct experience of the computational environment. The participant wears hardware that senses his natural behavior and displays from his personal perspective. The characteristics of VR are the same as those of good teaching. The teacher wants to create an environment that is programmable (curricula) and in which the students participate. Everything we do to educate with words and with pictures can be provided as virtual experience. We can vary location, scale, density of information, interactivity and responsiveness, time, and degree of participation. VR makes immediate sense because what a participant sees and hears has a meaning that does not require explanation. Text does not fare well on VR because text is not constructed for interaction; the VR analog of text is natural speech. Rather than teaching a structure of symbols, such as algebra, VR will first teach meaning through experience, then the symbolic abstraction of those experiences. VR is a natural interface with abstractions. No one has any idea what extended exposure to high-quality VR is like or other possible negative impacts, but VR will be commonplace in 20 years. (KRN)
Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Simulation, Constructivism (Learning), Educational Innovation, Group Instruction, Individualized Instruction, Learning Processes, Multisensory Learning, Technological Advancement
Human Interface Technology Laboratory, University of Washington, FJ-15, Seattle, WA 98195 ($5).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., Seattle. Washington Technology Center.