An innovative virtual reality educational environment for school physics education Erasmus Project

General information for the An innovative virtual reality educational environment for school physics education Erasmus Project

An innovative virtual reality educational environment for school physics education Erasmus Project
August 8, 2023 4:01 am | Last Update: August 7, 2023 9:21 am
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Project Title

An innovative virtual reality educational environment for school physics education

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for school education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2016

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Quality Improvement Institutions and/or methods (incl. school development); Key Competences (incl. mathematics and literacy) – basic skills; New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses

Project Summary

Background:
Despite the strategic importance of science school education, students find science and physics courses to be the most difficult and challenging and face particular difficulties in properly understanding and comprehending the various topics they consist of. The project aims to assist students in studying physics domain with the utilization of innovative technologies. Specifically, a 3D virtual reality educational environment was developed possessing innovative educational infrastructure, and offering immersive and efficient learning opportunities, engaging students in various educational activities, learning scenarios and offering students an attractive, entertaining and efficient way to learn various topics of the challenging domain of physics. Teachers can utilize the virtual environment to better explain topics of their courses and assist students to better understand them. Students have the ability to virtually visit laboratories, perform experiments, explore procedures and examine the ways that they are conducted. The environment and laboratories are designed in a way that supports students to form appropriate mental models of involved concepts, by visualizing them and allowing interactions with the virtual phenomena and processes. Furthermore, the 3D virtual reality educational environment and the visualization of procedures help students connect abstract concepts and procedures to concrete experiences and examples.

Participants:
1) University of Cyprus (coordinator) – Higher education institution (tertiary level) participating through the SEIT Lab, an integral part of the Department of Computer Science.
2) Computer Technology Institute & Press Diophantus – Research Institute focusing on research and development in ICT with particular emphasis is placed on education, such as developing and deploying conventional and digital media in education and lifelong learning.
3) University of Patras (UPAT) – Higher education institution (tertiary level) participating in the through the Departments of Physics and Computer Engineering & Informatics.
4) Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche (ITD) – Research Institute of the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy devoted to research in the field of educational technology.
5) European Training Center Association (CTE) – Non-profit association in Romania with the objective to encourage, organize and support lifelong learning activities.
6) New Edu – Non-profit organization in Slovakia with experience in tertiary, vocational and life-long learning education.

Main activities:
The project produced outputs that were novel and innovative in terms of learning methods, courses and youth training approaches in virtual reality environments. These outputs included:
O1: Reports on Physics Education in Schools around Europe and the state of the art in 3D Virtual Worlds. In particular, four reports were produced focusing on the following defined topics: Physics Education in Secondary Education Schools around Europe; Applications of ICT in Physics Education; State of the Art in Virtual Reality and 3D Worlds; Gamification and Learning Opportunities in Virtual Worlds.
O2: Virtual 3D World for Teaching Physics. A 3D World dedicated to teaching Physics to students with both synchronous and asynchronous training capabilities was developed. In addition, within this Output, the Trainer’s Handbook was produced and translated to all partner languages. Lastly, it also contains the related reports and results from the piloting activities that were conducted in each country.
O3: Open Learning Resources for Trainers. A web resource with social/networking capabilities offering free reusable content (technical guides, Physics learning resources, 3D world training scripts) that were produced during the implementation of the project.

Impact:
The project has already made a great impact at national and European levels, which was particularly evident during the piloting activities and multiplier events that were conducted. Very importantly, the project modernises and enhances the efficiency and the quality of school physics education by offering students and teachers innovative educational approaches in a 3D virtual reality environment.

Longer-term benefits:
The project is an important step towards modernizing and enhancing the performance and effectiveness of physics education in schools. The material we implemented and the 3D World are expected to be used in school curricula the following years (we have received a lot of interest) and we have taken the necessary steps to allow the extension of the 3D World with more physics topics and even material for other domains. Along with the learning material we have created, we have made available online, scripts and guides that other trainers may find useful to design and implement their own activities, as part of our 3D World or in their own servers. The project results can have a substantial impact on school physics education.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 200620 Eur

Project Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS & Country: CY

Project Partners

  • Asociatia Centrul de Training European
  • PANEPISTIMIO PATRON
  • INSTITOUTO TECHNOLOGIAS YPOLOGISTONKAI EKDOSEON DIOFANTOS
  • New Edu,n.o
  • CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE