Immersive Learning Laboratory Annual Report 2018

Jacqueline Thomas, Benjy Marks, Peter Gibbens, Keith Willey, Kiran Ijaz, Peter Magdas

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Immersive reality technology is set to revolutionise education. Through virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360º video, students can interact with diverse environments. For example, this technology allows for engineering students to virtually walk-through building plans and construction sites simultaneously or make assessments of water infrastructure in rural villages in Africa. Science students can build and manipulate molecules with their hands or travel as a nanoparticle through a membrane. Social Science students can observe behaviour remotely or learn how people adapt to new technology. The potential for learning is only limited by the imagination of the teacher. Due to the increasing quantity of quality educational content, using immersive reality technology in teaching is fast becoming accessible to all. The Immersive Learning Laboratory (ImmLL) was established in 2017 with the innovative vision to use VR technology in tertiary education. The laboratory is equipped with 26 Oculus Rift VR units and is one of the largest laboratory of its kind in the world. The use of VR technology in higher education is breaking new ground and we are now taking the opportunities to translate our experiences into educational research. Since S2, 2017, ImmLL has been used for tutorial teaching by 24 units of study from the Faculty of Engineering & IT, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and Faculty of Science. During this period, 2352 individual students were taught, with the number of total visits sitting at 4835. A survey of over 300 student users of the ImmLL reported that 72.3% wanted to use the laboratory again in future subjects. In 2019, the focus for ImmLL is to create original teaching content and quantify the educational benefits of virtual reality technology for tertiary education. With assistance from educational researchers, we are exploring how the quality of VR content and educational design determine to what extent learning outcomes are achieved.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe University of Sydney
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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