Italian National Research Council (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 5449-5455
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.2266
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Piaget's theory of Constructivist states that people construct their own knowledge through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. In the constructivist perspective, the center of the learning process switches from the content to be learned to the subject who wants to learn it. In this scenario the subject’s personal methods of study and learning are taken into consideration. Many educational strategies are based on the constructivism principle; one of the most effective for science education is the inquiry based science education strategy (IBSE).

IBSE bases its’ principles on these general rules:
• the student controls the learning process,
• the student works as a scientist; he performs experiments, collects and analyses data,
• the student builds his knowledge.

The characteristics of the process are to:
• explore the environment
• ask questions
• make discoveries
• try to understand in order to explain the phenomena

Inquiry allows students to develop their knowledge through an alternative method that uses experiential learning through discovery.
TIMMS 2015 results highlights that students in Europe have very low interest and knowledge in physics and mathematics. IBSE could be used in teaching to encourage and engage the student who has a lack of interest in physics and mathematics and possibly improve their performances.

The World of Physic (WoP) solution is an immersive 3D virtual environment designed to assist students to learn physics using IBSE strategy in virtual laboratories.

Students have the opportunity to visit the virtual laboratories of WoP. They can perform experiments, explore procedures and phenomena, deepen knowledge through educational cards. Moreover, they can be guided by a “not player character” in the analysis and understanding of physical phenomena simulated in the virtual world.

Wop is developed on "Opensimulator": an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server. Wop include 3 Main Areas: mechanics, electricity and magnetism, structure of matter. In each area there are some subarea that cover a specific physics topic of the main area. Every topic have one or more 3D activities that simulate a specific physics phenomena.
Wop is an Erasmus+ project funded by European commission.
Inquiry Based Science Education, Virtual World Education, 3D World Education, Opensimulator, Virtual Education Environments, Virtual Laboratory.