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Front. Robot. AI | doi: 10.3389/frobt.2018.00133

Authenticity, Interactivity, and Collaboration in VR learning games

  • 1Comparative Media Studies and Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Decreasing cost and increasing technology access in schools places 3D immersive virtual reality (VR) within the reach of K-12 classrooms (Korbey, 2017). Educators have great interest in incorporating VR into classrooms because they are engaging and often novel experiences. However, long-term curriculum development must be positioned on how to best leverage the unique affordances of VR, be informed by theory and research, and integrate VR in meaningful ways that continue to motivate students even after experiences are no longer novel. We propose the theoretical framework of embodied learning and discuss how VR and reflect on current research findings to outline effective applications of VR for guidelines in developing educational materials using those tools. We discuss two particular examples: spatial awareness and collaboration. We share our perspectives on the benefits and challenges of applying these principles in a learning game about cellular biology.

Keywords: Immersive Virtual Reality, stem education, game based learning, embodied learning, K12 education, collaboration

Received: 14 Nov 2017; Accepted: 30 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Maria V. Sanchez-Vives, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Spain

Reviewed by:

Regis Kopper, Duke University, United States
Yiorgos L. Chrysanthou, University of Cyprus, Cyprus  

Copyright: © 2018 Thompson, Wang, Roy and Klopfer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Meredith M. Thompson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Comparative Media Studies and Writing, Cambridge, 02139, Massachusetts, United States,