Virtual Reality for Experiential Education: A User Experience Exploration
Keywords:experiential education, digital immersion, virtual reality, user experience
Virtual reality technology has made significant advances and is now widely recognised for its potential to provide fully immersive experiences that have relevance to many aspects of life, including education. This paper explores the effectiveness of VR technology for situated experiential education by adopting a user experience (UX) theoretical framing of an example application in tourism education. The trial of a VR-based experiential education tool followed by semi-structured interviews revealed many positive user perspectives that lend strong support for the technology’s use for experiential education, however, several negative experiences were also identified, included the debilitating impact of motion sickness. The UX framework contributes a deeper analysis of the positive and negative experiences by applying the three UX facets, beyond instrumental facet, emotion & affect facet, and the experiential facet, which in combination serve to not only identify key areas requiring improvement but also assists in the prioritisation process. While the exploratory findings promote further engagement with VR to foster experiential education more research is required to locate VR’s broader pedagogical place in tertiary education.
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