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Virtual Reality Environments (VREs) for Training and Learning

Kalliopi-Evangelia Stavroulia; Maria Christofi; Telmo Zarraonanda; Despina Michael-Grigoriou; Andreas Lanitis

VR technologies are gaining momentum in the field of education and particularly in the use of virtual reality (VR) based learning. Within Virtual Reality Learning Environments (VRLEs) realistic-world situations are simulated, facilitating the transfer of the knowledge and skills gained within the virtual world to the real one. In this chapter we provide a review of several advantages of using VR technology in education and training. In addition, we examine different challenges and potential problems that need to be considered in order to successfully integrate VR in training activities. We also exemplify the promising prospect of this technology in education by describing two novel VR applications. The first one aim to support educators in improving their teaching practice. Using VR technology the teacher is given the opportunity to experience the students point of view during a classroom and cultivate their empathy skills. The second one aims to support teachers in creating VR serious games by lowering the difficulty of developing this type of educational artefact through intuitive interaction and eliminating the need of learning new design language.

This work has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 739578 and under Grant Agreement No 692058 and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.
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