Virtual & Augmented Reality Innovations for Teachers, Teacher Education, and Professional Development

A special issue of Computers (ISSN 2073-431X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 19729

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centre for Learning Analytics, Department of Computing, University of Turku, 20500 Turku, Finland
Interests: educational technology; immersive technologies; STEM education; digital instructional design; artificial intelligence; learning analytics; educational data mining
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rapid advancement of information and communication technology (ICT) has led to the emergence of manifold innovative systems and tools that can efficiently and effectively support both teachers in teaching and students in learning. However, in light of the recent world event (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak), it became apparent that teachers’ skills in the integration of ICT solutions are mediocre, whereas their lifelong learning training is, in most cases, inadequate [1-3]. It is therefore, more than ever, necessary to identify ways and methods that can assist teachers in enhancing their digital literacy skills. Although, especially during this hectic period, various innovative teacher training schemes have emerged [4-6], very few efforts can be identified with regard to the use of solutions that stem from the cross-reality (XR) spectrum [7], despite the potential that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have on teaching and learning [8, 9]. Therefore, this Special Issue aims to increase our knowledge about the potential of immersive technologies in the context of teacher education, training, and professional development. To prospect authors’ interest, we provide the following generic guidelines: (a) from the educational perspective, we are interested in receiving works that focus on the technical skills and/or the pedagogical competencies that teachers need to develop as well as the safeguards of ethical use [10], whereas (b) from the developers’ side, we are looking for frameworks that allow the mass adaptation and modification of VR/AR systems from the education practitioners’ end.

References
  1. Christopoulos, A., & Sprangers, P. (2021). Integration of educational technology during the Covid-19 pandemic: An analysis of teacher and student receptions. Cogent Education, 8(1),
  2. Hadar, L., Ergas, O., Alpert, B., & Ariav, T. (2020). Rethinking teacher education in a VUCA world: student teachers’ social-emotional competencies during the Covid-19 crisis. European Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4), 573-586.
  3. Allen, J., Rowan, L., & Singh, P. (2020). Teaching and teacher education in the time of COVID-19. Asia- Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 48(3), 233-236.
  4. Quezada, R. L., Talbot, C., & Quezada-Parker, K. B. (2020). From bricks and mortar to remote teaching: A teacher education program ‘s response to COVID-19. Journal of Education for Teaching, 46(4), 472-483.
  5. Dreesen, T., Akseer, S., Brossard, M., Dewan, P. Giraldo, J.P., Kamei, A.; Mizunoya, S., Ortiz Correa, J.S. (2020). Promising Practices for Equitable Remote Learning. Emerging lessons from COVID-19 education responses in 127 countries. Innocenti Research Briefs, 2020(10), UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, Florence.
  6. Sepulveda-Escobar, P., & Morrison, A. (2020). Online teaching placement during the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile: challenges and opportunities. European Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4), 587-607.
  7. Chen, C. (2020). New Approach of Teacher Training: The Virtual Reality Simulation. Journal of Education Research, (313), 19-34.
  8. Mystakidis, S., Christopoulos, A., Pellas, N. (2021). A systematic mapping review of augmented reality applications to support STEM learning in higher education. Inf. Technol. doi:10.1007/s10639-021-10682- 1.
  9. Pellas, , Dengel, A., & Christopoulos, A. (2020). A Scoping Review of Immersive Virtual Reality in STEM Education. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 13(4), 748-761.
  10. Christopoulos, A., Mystakidis, S., Pellas, N., & Laakso, M.J. (2021). ARLEAN: An Augmented Reality Learning Analytics Ethical Framework. Computers, 10, 92, doi:10.3390/computers10080092.

Dr. Athanasios Christopoulos
Prof. Dr. Stylianos Mystakidis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • teachers’ (in-service/preservice) professional development through or in XR
  • personalized learning and adaptive training in XR applications
  • assessment tools for XR systems
  • learning analytics and data visualization tools for educational XR tools
  • XR ethics training

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

35 pages, 14642 KiB  
Article
Faraway, so Close: Perceptions of the Metaverse on the Edge of Madness
by Mónica Cruz, Abílio Oliveira and Alessandro Pinheiro
Computers 2024, 13(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13010019 - 8 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1578
Abstract
With the evolution of technologies, virtual reality allows us to dive into cyberspace through different devices and have immersive experiences in different contexts, which, in a simple way, we call virtual worlds or multiverse (integrating Metaverse versions). Through virtual reality, it is possible [...] Read more.
With the evolution of technologies, virtual reality allows us to dive into cyberspace through different devices and have immersive experiences in different contexts, which, in a simple way, we call virtual worlds or multiverse (integrating Metaverse versions). Through virtual reality, it is possible to create infinite simulated environments to immerse ourselves in. Future internet may be slightly different from what we use today. Virtual immersion situations are common (particularly in gaming), and the Metaverse has become a lived and almost real experience claiming its presence in our daily lives. To investigate possible perspectives or concepts regarding the Metaverse, virtual reality, and immersion, we considered a main research question: To what extent can a film centered on the multiverse be associated with adults’ Metaverse perceptions? Considering that all participants are adults, the objectives of this study are: (1) Verify the representations of the Metaverse; (2) Verify the representations of immersion; (3) Verify the representations of the multiverse; (4) Verify the importance of a film (related to the Metaverse and the multiverse) on the representations found. This study—framed in a Ph.D. research project—analyzed the participants’ answers through an online survey using two films to gather thoughts, ideas, emotions, sentiments, and reactions according to our research objectives. Some limitations were considered, such as the number of participants, number of the questionnaire questions and the knowledge or lack of the main concepts. Our results showed that a virtual world created by a movie might stimulate the perception of almost living in that supposed reality, accepting the multiverse and Metaverse not as distant concepts but as close experiences, even in an unconscious form. This finding is also a positive contribution to a discussion in progress aiming for an essential understanding of the Metaverse as a complex concept. Full article
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12 pages, 1411 KiB  
Article
Exploiting Augmented Reality Technology in Special Education: A Systematic Review
by Andrianthi Kapetanaki, Akrivi Krouska, Christos Troussas and Cleo Sgouropoulou
Computers 2022, 11(10), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers11100143 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2514
Abstract
In this systematic review, research works pertaining to the use of augmented reality (AR) in special education are investigated. In recent years, the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education has transformed the teaching and learning process. Augmented reality is an [...] Read more.
In this systematic review, research works pertaining to the use of augmented reality (AR) in special education are investigated. In recent years, the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education has transformed the teaching and learning process. Augmented reality is an emerging technology, which has been widely used in education during the past few years. However, only few studies focus on the advantages and limitations of AR use in special education. This review investigates research in AR educational systems addressed to students with special needs. In total, 14 studies between 2014 and 2022 were selected and analyzed. Specifically, this systematic review examines types of students that have been included in learning scenarios supported of AR, distribution of educational AR studies by field of education, types of technology developed to support the use of AR in special education, and the advantages and limitations of AR use in special education. The findings mainly show that AR technology, used on students with special educational needs, has multiple potential advantages. Full article
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16 pages, 1330 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Virtual Reality among University Professors: Influence of the Digital Generation
by Álvaro Antón-Sancho, Pablo Fernández-Arias and Diego Vergara
Computers 2022, 11(6), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers11060092 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2512
Abstract
This paper conducts quantitative research on the assessment made by a group of 623 Spanish and Latin American university professors about the use of virtual reality technologies in the classroom and their own digital skills in this respect. The main objective is to [...] Read more.
This paper conducts quantitative research on the assessment made by a group of 623 Spanish and Latin American university professors about the use of virtual reality technologies in the classroom and their own digital skills in this respect. The main objective is to analyze the differences that exist in this regard due to the digital generation of the professors (immigrants or digital natives). As an instrument, a survey designed for this purpose was used, the validity of which has been tested in the study. It was found that digital natives say they are more competent in the use of virtual reality and value its technical and didactic aspects more highly, although they also identify more disadvantages in its use than digital immigrants. Differences in responses were found by gender and areas of knowledge of the professors with respect to the opinions expressed. It is suggested that universities design training plans on teaching digital competence and include in them the didactic use of virtual reality technologies in higher education. Full article
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17 pages, 923 KiB  
Article
The Potential of AR Solutions for Behavioral Learning: A Scoping Review
by Crispino Tosto, Farzin Matin, Luciano Seta, Giuseppe Chiazzese, Antonella Chifari, Marco Arrigo, Davide Taibi, Mariella Farella and Eleni Mangina
Computers 2022, 11(6), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers11060087 - 30 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3518
Abstract
In recent years, educational researchers and practitioners have become increasingly interested in new technologies for teaching and learning, including augmented reality (AR). The literature has already highlighted the benefit of AR in enhancing learners’ outcomes in natural sciences, with a limited number of [...] Read more.
In recent years, educational researchers and practitioners have become increasingly interested in new technologies for teaching and learning, including augmented reality (AR). The literature has already highlighted the benefit of AR in enhancing learners’ outcomes in natural sciences, with a limited number of studies exploring the support of AR in social sciences. Specifically, there have been a number of systematic and scoping reviews in the AR field, but no peer-reviewed review studies on the contribution of AR within interventions aimed at teaching or training behavioral skills have been published to date. In addition, most AR research focuses on technological or development issues. However, limited studies have explored how technology affects social experiences and, in particular, the impact of using AR on social behavior. To address these research gaps, a scoping review was conducted to identify and analyze studies on the use of AR within interventions to teach behavioral skills. These studies were conducted across several intervention settings. In addition to this research question, the review reports an investigation of the literature regarding the impact of AR technology on social behavior. The state of the art of AR solutions designed for interventions in behavioral teaching and learning is presented, with an emphasis on educational and clinical settings. Moreover, some relevant dimensions of the impact of AR on social behavior are discussed in more detail. Limitations of the reviewed AR solutions and implications for future research and development efforts are finally discussed. Full article
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16 pages, 20460 KiB  
Article
Ready Teacher One: Virtual and Augmented Reality Online Professional Development for K-12 School Teachers
by Stylianos Mystakidis, Maria Fragkaki and Giorgos Filippousis
Computers 2021, 10(10), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers10100134 - 17 Oct 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 8230
Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two technologies with the potential to enhance learning quality by activating episodic student memory. In this manuscript we outline the pedagogical benefits of AR and VR as well as the rationale, design, development, and pilot [...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two technologies with the potential to enhance learning quality by activating episodic student memory. In this manuscript we outline the pedagogical benefits of AR and VR as well as the rationale, design, development, and pilot evaluation results from an in-service teacher online professional development program (OPD) on AR and VR linked with research activities. More specifically, we examined the “Augmented and Virtual Reality in Teaching and Learning” OPD course aimed at K-12 educators in a European country combining pedagogically informed methods such as inquiry-based learning and digital storytelling. Findings from a mixed-method research using questionnaires and focus groups indicate that AR- and VR-based pedagogical scenarios can be integrated effectively into everyday school teaching practice. The study also outlines implications and limitations that policy makers, education leaders, and educators need to consider for efficient institution-wide deployment of AR and VR technologies. Full article
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