Coherence in Teacher Education - Quantitative and Qualitative Profiling of the Industrial-Technical Teaching Profession at Vocational Colleges: Designing Industrial-Technical Teaching with Virtual Reality.
Due to further digitalisation of the classroom, various new types of media are being integrated into everyday schooling. Virtual reality (VR) in particular has a high potential. VR enables the visualisation of abstract phenomena such as magnetic fields or the inclusion of expensive, technically complex large-scale equipment and machines. This cost-effective inclusion of machines into lessons is particularly important for industrial and technical schooling. Furthermore, VR, in contrast to other digital media, impresses with its realism and almost natural interaction. This promotes the acquisition of practical work experience in industrial and technical classes at vocational colleges, without incorrect actions and behaviour resulting in danger to the students or a reduced functionality of the machines. Studies on VR applications in industrial contexts also suggest that such applications have a positive effect on the learning of work processes.
Owing to the novelty of using VR in schooling, there are no empirically validated concepts for the integration of VR in the teaching and learning process. Further, gaps in research and knowledge for the design of the content exist. It is well known that low usability and high task load hinder the learning process. Another key challenge is the creation of content by users with low affinity for technology, which often ties up time and human resources in technical development rather than content creation. This is often addressed with proprietary authoring tools, although teachers usually have no experience in using these tools. These problems need to be addressed in order to successfully integrate VR into the classroom.
At the University of Wuppertal, VR authoring tools have been and are being developed in various projects that prioritise the creation of learning and teaching contents by users with little affinity for technology.
Within the framework of the sub-project, support is given to enable student teachers with an industrial and technical focus to test, learn and train the use of a VR authoring system. Furthermore, various teaching concepts involving VR will be designed and tested at partner schools in order to further reduce the existing research gap in this area. Finally, an interface for a planning tool, developed in another sub-project, and the selected VR authoring tool will be created in order to suggest the use of VR in classes as well as to enable the planning of VR-based learning environments.