Week 4

EDET 679 Week 4 How can immersive virtual reality enhance gamification?

“Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging possibility for delivering educational context and experiences to students,” according to Yap. The technology evolution has led to the creation and commercialization of devices allowing to create immersive experiences in the classroom (Spano, et.al, 2015). VR can enhance gamification in the classroom in many ways.

In recent years, VR devices have been designed to allow users to move freely in real life environment. Before, users had limited interaction not providing that illusion of reality. Having that option now to move openly in the virtual world is one of the ways it enhances gamification. The main benefits of VR in the classroom are (Chifor, et.al):

  • The learning process has a higher level of interactivity being able to transform the user experience from passive to active.
  • While immersed into the virtual environment, the user is protected from distractions from surrounding elements
  • VR based learning can represent a great solution for situations where the teaching materials are very expensive or the conditions of training are very hard to reproduce in real world; a scenario that has been modeled with a high level of detail allows learners to interact with it, understand and follow best practice procedures or carry out complex scenarios with very reduced cost / trainee (as all the resources can be reused as many times as needed),
  • and the interactive VR scenarios help the user gain knowledge, test his/her reactions in dangerous situations and test possible harmful scenarios in a safe environment, without being put at risk.

Learning is becoming more interactive, fun and social. According to Radsky, VR has a lot of potential for education. For instance, VR will improve education through collaboration and social integration, creating new experiences, increased student motivation, using stimulation as a management system, and creative learning (Radsky, 2015).

Gamification in the classroom can be enhanced by VR in so many ways. VR can give students that sense of immersion and interaction in whatever setting. Students will have that “sense of presence” where the subject really feels like they are in that environment, according to an article titled “What is Virtual Reality?”

I was inspired by Kate Hodges use of technology in her classroom. I can visualize secondary teachers incorporating Google Cardboard in their content area. As an elementary teacher I would have to find ways I can integrate it into my curriculum. I can see how VR can impact gamification in the classroom for all grade levels, in so many different ways.


Casu, A., Spano, L., Sorrentino, F., & Scateni, R. (2015). RiftArt: Bringing Masterpieces in the Classroom through … Retrieved September 27, 2016, from http://people.unica.it/riccardoscateni/files/2015/10/Casu2015RBM.pdf

Chifor, M., & Stefanut, T. (n.d.). Immersive Virtual Reality application using Google Cardboard and Leap Motion technologies. Retrieved September 26, 2016, from http://oaji.net/articles/2015/2024-1447175761.pdf

Radsky, A. (2015, June 19). Adopting Virtual Reality for Education | Alex Radsky … Retrieved September 27, 2016, from http://alchemylearning.com/adopting-virtual-reality-for-education/

What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality. (2016). Retrieved September 27, 2016, from http://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/what-is-virtual-reality.html

Yap, M. (n.d.). Running Head: GOOGLE CARDBOARD FOR A K­12 SOCIAL STUDIES … Retrieved September 27, 2016, from http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/40604/1/LTEC-690-Yap-Scholarspace.05.04.16.pdf


3 thoughts on “Week 4

  1. It was nice to see Kate Hodges’ enthusiasm for VR and how it can be used, especially for math. I always struggle to see how technology can be used to teach upper level Algebra. I can see how middle school math concepts can incorporate technology without too much modification. I think it’s because algebra is an abstract concept. It’s all about variables, and their relationship with each other. It can be difficult to make the transformation from the concrete to the abstract. I think VR would be great in gamification. Hope you can incorporate it in elementary school!


  2. Genevieve,

    McGonigal talks about visual attention in her book (referenced below). As I read what you wrote about being immersed in a virtual environment, players block out outside distractions. What McGonigal explained was that the visual processing part of our brain is taking over more when a game has continuous visual elements to process. “. . . ideally, a pattern-matching game like Tetris or Candy Crush Saga” (p. 37), because pieces are interactively moved and connected – taking a lot of focus.

    When you brought up that sense of presence and a feeling of being there, students are playing in the flow; and the quality of the game (not necessarily the difficulty of the game) comes from being absorbed with our full attention focused .

    This immersion may be something we need to think about for our students who deal with the effects of trauma in their lives. One trial study McGonigal highlighted was one where “a twenty-minute session of casual game play decreased left frontal alpha brain waves which typically indicates improved mood.

    I agree that elementary students would benefit from different types of VR related to the curriculum. Google Cardboard activities can take them to places talked about in children’s literature.


    McGonigal, J. (2015). SuperBetter: The power of living gamefully. New York: Penguin Books.


  3. I was also inspired by the work that Kate Hodges is doing in her classroom. I guess the part that concerns me just a bit is the amount of time she puts into creating the experiences for her students. Obviously, she is quite literate when it comes to the use of technology and the one lesson she highlighted (a 50 minute lesson) took 2 hours to create. This might work in a middle or high school setting where you are teaching the same lesson multiple times a day, but in a self-contained classroom, I can’t spend more than twice the time prepping for each hour that I am going to be teaching. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I am also no where near as literate with technology as she is, so turn that two hours in to four hours easily. All that said, it seems like the use of VR could be an amazing addition to the curriculum of our Alaskan students, who are often lacking the experiences of their lower 48 peers.


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