Journal article Open Access

Perceived educational usefulness of a virtual-reality work situation depends on the spatial human-environment relation

Dobricki, Martin; Kim, Kevin G.; Coppi, Alessia E.; Dillenbourg, Pierre; Cattaneo, Alberto


Virtual reality (VR) may be useful for situating school-based vocational education in work-life by simulating a work situation such that learners viewing this VR work situation are located inside it. The reason for this assumption is that VR can fully spatially include its viewer. Research on the utility of viewer-including VR work situations for learners has, therefore, already started. However, no study has yet investigated their utility for teachers. This is particularly relevant for work situations involving environmental planning, as VR is expected to facilitate such a task. We, therefore, asked horticultural teachers to assess the educational usefulness of a VR work situation when they were located outside and inside it. For this purpose, we enabled them to plan a basic garden in the VR work situation when its environment was spatially excluding them and when it was including them. We found the teachers to perceive the viewer-including VR work situation as more useful for their teaching than its viewer-excluding version. This suggests that the perceived educational usefulness of a VR work situation depends on the spatial relation of its viewer and environment, that is, the spatial human-environment relation it involves.

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