The Impact of using Virtual Reality Lessons to Teach Microbiology Online

Donald, C. et al. (2023) The Impact of using Virtual Reality Lessons to Teach Microbiology Online. Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2023, Birmingham, UK, 17-20 April 2023. (Unpublished)

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Virtual Reality (VR) is gaining increasing interest as an educational technology which can be integrated within Higher Education. The University of Glasgow has been working with immersive technology company, Edify, to embed bespoke VR applications within various courses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this collaboration provided teachers with a training platform from which to remotely lead classes within virtual 3D environments. We developed the Disease Diagnostic VR app which was implemented within a Junior Honours life sciences course. To accommodate the pandemic restrictions, the course pivoted online and included an interactive virtual learning environment (VLE) comprised of videos, quizzes and interactive animations. The VR app was included on the final day to further support the student’s understanding of the course intended learning outcomes. Our study investigated if VR technology influenced the student learning experience by comparing VR delivered by-proxy (VR-test group) to less immersive teaching material within the VLE (control group). The findings indicate that although there is no observable difference in learning outcomes between the 2 groups, students in the VR-test group rated their experience more favourably than the control group. In addition, student confidence in practical skill elements was greater in the test group compared to the control. While studies into the effectiveness of VR for teaching has expanded recently, this area of research is still in its infancy. Therefore, examining the efficiency of VR within Higher Education is an important topic that will not only inform future practice but further the frontiers of an evolving field of research.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McDonnell, Professor Neil and Carman, Professor Christopher and Macpherson, Professor Fiona and Scott, Dr Pamela and Judge, Dr Andrew and Latkovskis, Dr Imants and Marks, Dr Leah and Taylor, Dr Sonya and Donald, Dr Claire and Veitch, Dr Nicola and Kirkwood, Mr Nathan and Edmond, Dr Avril
Authors: Donald, C., Veitch, N., Judge, A., Carman, C., Scott, P., Taylor, S., Marks, L., Edmond, A., Latkovskis, I., Kirkwood, N., McDonnell, N., and Macpherson, F.
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
University Services > IT Services > Computing Service
College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
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