This seminar introduced emerging Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems, and how commercial unfolding of this kind of technology may soon play a significant and ubiquitous role in both classroom- and online-based teaching and learning. The seminar focussed on two primary aspects in relation to this topic:
- The need for an alliance between technological and pedagogical experts with the purpose of ensuring that the technology fits educational requirements. There are many contemporary examples of technology being instituted to conventional learning environments that do not incorporate robust pedagogical principles in their design. Before the next generation of immersive technology becomes embedded in education, the adaptation of such technology needs to be firmly routed in expert pedagogical principles in any design framework.
- More generally, and with inherent advantages for education, is that the design of such systems needs to also comply with human perceptual and cognitive factors. Many pitfalls have been revealed during the Web 2.0 era from which we can learn. For example, although the presentation of information using multimedia is entertaining and often more useful than conventional text, rich and concurrent auditory visual streams lead to cognitive overload, cross-modal interactions, and ultimately learning fatigue.
Following the above introduction and description, seminar participants were invited to discuss and informally review what they imagine will be emerging future trends in this domain, the potential pitfalls, and the educational value of technology as it moves from flat screen-based environments to immersive virtual interfaces.
Linda Butler, PhD.
Dr Linda Butler is a, Research Associate in Hibernia College and co-presented this paper at the Ireland-Canada International Symposium – Higher Education in Transformation conference earlier this year. She is a tutor in Research Methodologies for the Professional Master of Education (PMEPP) and Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) and the Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning (MATL). She is also a Supervisor with Hibernia College. She is an English Language lecturer on the Science Without Borders programme and has lectured on a wide-range of ESOL programmes that include IELTS, EAP and PhD Pathways at University of Limerick. She was a lecturer and programme team writer for the MA TESOL at DkIT and a Cambridge University English ESOL oral examiner. She has published in creative pedagogies that promote language learner autonomy and has undertaken postdoctoral research that evaluated development education in pre-service teaching practicums across nine Higher Education Institutions.
Flaithri Neff, PhD.
Dr Flaithri Neff is Principal Investigator of the Centre for Research in Game Technology & Interactive Systems at Limerick Institute of Technology. He is a lecturer in Audio Signal Processing and Acoustics in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, LIT. He holds a doctorate in Computer Science (University College Cork) and an MSc degree (University of Limerick) specialising in Audio Technology. His research interests include the utilisation of emerging game technologies to enhance user-experience and task-efficiency in applications requiring next-generation multimodal interfaces. Within the research centre, he and his colleagues focus is on designing immersive virtual environments that implement perceptual and cognitive factors associated with the auditory, visual and haptic domains.
The research seminars are streamed online and also recorded via Blackboard Collaborate. This is the link specific to Dr. Linda Butler & Dr. Florrie McNeff’s presentation: