Virtual Reality (VR) is gaining increasing interest as an educational technology which can be integrated within Higher Education (HE) teaching. The University of Glasgow has been working with immersive technology company, Sublime Digital, to create project ‘Edify’, which allows teachers to lead classes within immersive 3D environments remotely via Zoom. A VR laboratory was implemented within a Junior Honours Molecular Methods course enabling the 500 students undertaking the course that year to experience a laboratory environment despite COVID-19 restrictions. The purpose of our study was to understand the impact of VR on learning outcomes which we investigated by comparing VR delivered by-proxy to less immersive online teaching methodologies. Our results indicate that although most students had never used VR technology prior to the lesson, students who took part in the VR session found the experience provided them with a form of educational escapism and that they were more confident in their understanding of the material covered. In addition, their confidence in their ability to carry out the experiments covered in the future was also improved compared to those who worked through an online lab book. This area is currently in its relative infancy and so examining the effectiveness of VR within HE is an important and timely topic that will not only inform future practice but further the frontiers of an evolving field of research.


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Cite as

Donald, C., Veitch, N., Edmond, A., Marks, L., Kirkwood, N., Carman, C., McDonnell, N. & Macpherson, F. 2021, 'The Impact of Using Virtual Reality Lessons to Teach Online', Evolving molecular bioscience education 27-28 May 2021. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/252273/

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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