Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Virtual reality in Teaching

An ongoing project, which is a collaboration between the Dr Naomi Holmes (Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Northampton)  Dr Scott Turner (Department of Computing and Immersive Technologies, University of Northampton) and Adel Gordon (Learning Technology Team, University of Northampton). All of whom are members of STRiPe Research Group.

Virtual field trips are not a new idea, but with the release of the developer version of the Oculus Rift providing a more affordable immersive/virtual reality equipment, could virtual field trips become immersive virtual field trips at reasonable cost? Is this a good idea?

The Oculus Rift (http://www.oculusvr.com/), a device whose popularity with gamers is increasing, is under investigation of tool for preparing for field trips. The demo of a house and gardens in Tuscany that comes with the Oculus Rift (available through the Oculus Rift developer centre https://developer.oculusvr.com/) is being used as the basis of the test. 

Students come in, put the headset on, after an initial orientation, walk around the house, and gardens, later fill in a questionnaire on the experience, as well as talking to the two investigators. Part of the procedure is the students are told they can stop at any time and restart if they want at any time during the session.

The research questions revolve around
- Do students like the tool?
- Do students think this tool could be used for:
   - preparation before a field trip to try out ideas.
   - a way of describing a trip when they come back.
   - a replacement for field trips.
- What are the limitations of the approach?
- Where else could it be used, if anywhere?
- Is there some procedures that need to be put in place to enable effective use of these?

Preliminary results will be released in the near future.

Funding for this work has come from the University of Northampton's Innovation Fund.

Related Links:

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Junkbots: it is not one thing! - Activities, session plans, presentations

The School of Science and Technology at the University of Northampton have been working with local schools to create robots made from junk. This is an initiative by the University to introduce environmental sustainability, engineering and computing to students and has been funded by Northampton Enterprise Limited and east midlands development agency (emda). 

For more details on the junkbot building exercises

Robot programming activities 

For more details on the waste management activities
Introduction to waste management, its impact, recycling and reuse. An introducing to the idea of making robots from rubbish.

This and other posters at Engage 2013 can be found at: https://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/engage2013/poster-party

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

New issue of Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education

The new of issue of the journal Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education is published today. See below for contents.

Vol 5, No 1 (2013)

Table of Contents


Rachel Maunder, Simon Sneddon, Scott Turner, Anna Crouch1-2


‘During the course of the programme my attention shifted and deepened – I was more interested in developing myself as a person’: Evaluating a careers award in higher educationPDF
Wayne Clark3-20
Using the student voice to enhance the teaching of undergraduate courses with high failure ratesPDF
Erik Blair21-37

Critical case studies

Being there: strategies for incorporating the student voice into the learning experience of a large first-year marketing course in a New Zealand universityPDF
Mary FitzPatrick, Janet Davey, Dorothy Spiller38-48

Work in progress

Doctoral Training Partnerships: a work-in-progress review of the postgraduate researcher experiencePDF
Rebekah Smith McGloin49-57
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Capturing the Distance (Online) Learner ExperiencePDF
Rachel Fitzgerald, Paul Corazzo58-64

Book reviews

Book review: A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Qualitative Research (Silverman, 2013)PDF
Wayne Clark65-67

ISSN: 2041-3122

The Journal Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education can be found at: http://journals.northampton.ac.uk/index.php/elehe/index