Journal article Open Access
This paper proposes the use of a Virtual Reality (VR) based approach to improve teacher education and life-long professional development. Through constant training in real-life based situations but within a safe three-dimensional virtual school environment, teachers are given the opportunity to experience and learn how to react to different types of incidents that may take place in a school environment. The current paper presents the design cycle that was followed for the implementation of the VR teacher training system. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is demonstrated with a case study that aimed to promote teachers’ understanding of student’s problematic situations related to substance use. As part of the experimental investigation the impact of the VR system on participants’ emotions and mood states is evaluated through EEG measurements, heart rate recordings and self-reported data. Results indicate significant changes to participant’s negative emotional and mood states, suggesting that the scenario and the VR experience had a strong impact on them.