N. Papulovskaia

Ural Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
The paper describes problems of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, which arise in distance education (on example of general chemistry). There is a problem of motivation with loss of interest to fundamental education. Since for chemical experiments special equipment and reagent kit are additionally required, this is a technical challenge in the distance learning. There is a variety of software simulators, which, however, do not solve the problem of motivation.

Both problems can be solved by creating the virtual gaming applications. The current generation of students has mastered the skills in computer games. Why do not use this little weakness of young people for the benefit of education? Application of the virtual reality to study process increases their interest to the learning and makes it accessible to remote students.

The experience of creating the electronic educational resource for the study of general chemistry is described. Based on gaming 3D (three-dimensional) engine with quest's elements, the Web application has been developed and introduced. Peculiarity of the game-play is that the student gets himself into the virtual space and has complete freedom of action. In accordance with the selected task, it is necessary to collect a set of equipment and reagents. The student can do it in any order, but only after receiving the complete set, it becomes possible to start the experiment itself. Implementation of the chemical experiment does not require strict compliance with action sequences, but the result depends on the correct execution of operations required.

Work on creating the virtual laboratory was performed at the Department of Information Technology of the Ural Federal University (UrFU) and inserted into the educational process of the UrFU Department of General Chemistry. The application of interactive three-dimensional virtual environment enhances learning, increases its attractiveness, and improves the availability and visibility of presentation of the studied materials.