Practical Applications of Virtual Reality in Level 8 Games Development
The aim of this project was to investigate the use of Virtual Reality to enhance student engagement and understanding of physics.
This technology increased student immersion in a 3D physics environment, which enabled a deeper and more intuitive understanding of the nature of the mechanics of motion.
We have already researched the ability of students to model the real world by developing specific Laboratory based exercises that help the students visualize their programming in the real world. Following on from these reality based exercises, this is the next step in giving the students the analytical skills to successfully incorporate reality physics into Games/ Serious Games. Students need to conceptualise scale and define the world in a real world mathematical model.
The end result is that VR allows students to have a natural “physical” interaction with a virtual world, thus deepening their understanding of the concepts . This synthesis of information and physical experience develops the student’s critical thinking and analytical skills. This project aimed to broaden students horizons as they attempt to develop in this new and exciting paradigm. This engages the students making them interact with the material while at the same time making the learning fun.
Working with Dr. Noel O’Hara, we designed and created 3D world, using the Oculus Rift Platform, that acts as a learning environment and interactive tutorial for a portion of the physics syllabus in 3rd Games Development. Manipulating a shape in a 3D world it will give the students a feel for objects and the scale and use of those objects.
A controlled test is used to investigate the efficacy of VR in comparison to 3D on a computer monitor. Half the students used the VR (Oculus Rift) and half used the typical computer monitor. Following the test the students were given a short assessment to quantify their understanding. The students evaluated the perceived effectiveness of the tutorial.
This project developed the digital literacies of these students by questioning their interactions with digital media and helped them analyse, the effectiveness of modelling programmes.