About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2740-2747
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1588

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain


P. Morris, G. Takahashi, S. Iseminger

Purdue University (UNITED STATES)
Simulation technologies and virtual systems have been long used for training and education of complex topics since the advent of early flight simulators. Throughout the years, Virtual Reality (VR) has been adapted for uses beyond equipment and scenario training to encompass data visualization for STEM, historical representations for humanities, and artistic expression and performing arts. Through the past year our project has experimented with the use of VR in a classroom environment to assess cultural communications. In previous years, the “communicating across cultures” class has tackled topics spanning social justice issues including ableism, sexism, and racism. By leveraging VR and simulation technologies, we have built virtual experiences to better convey the concepts of social justice.

The capabilities of VR, allow the user to live a scenario that is choreographed and tailored for a specific goal. In a training simulator, the environment is designed to teach a procedure or task through active participation. However, in our classroom we are attempting to convey a cultural perspective by placing the user in a scenario that may generate understanding. In a TED talk by Chris Milk, the concept of using Virtual Reality for generating empathy is explored through a passive film experience. These 360 degree films have the capabilities to immerse a viewer in a world that is different to their own, however provide little in terms of interaction. It is this gap that we explored through the usage of real-time virtual simulation to explore the effects of immersive interaction on empathy. The topic we explored for this first step was ableism, prejudice towards people of differing physical or mental abilities. The VR simulation we created places the user in a biomedical laboratory and is asked to perform a few simple tasks with non-accessible equipment, while constrained to a powered wheelchair. The equipment used includes a Head Mounted Display, joystick for powered navigation, and a hand tracker to enable the user to physically and virtually reach for equipment. In the VR simulation, the user is asked to perform a series of simple tasks in either: a biomedical lab that is not wheelchair accessible or one that contains accessible equipment. Once their task is complete, they switch to the other virtual lab and follow the same tasks.
author = {Morris, P. and Takahashi, G. and Iseminger, S.},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1588},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1588},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2740-2747}}
AU - P. Morris AU - G. Takahashi AU - S. Iseminger
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1588
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 2740
EP - 2747
ER -
P. Morris, G. Takahashi, S. Iseminger (2016) COMMUNICATING CULTURAL CONCEPTS THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 2740-2747.