As we move to a more sustainable world, expansion of education is key to the eradication of poverty (SDG1) and societal inequalities (SDG10). Global expansion of tertiary education offers opportunities to deliver Sustainable Development Goals by providing wide access to education in flexible learning environments. However, the quality of education (SDG4) must be maintained and enhanced as it is key to a partnership for the goals (SDG17). While increased learning online can facilitate achievement of these SDGs, there is also a move, within the education sector, to a constructivist approach and a more active learning environment. Interactive virtual learning environments (e.g. Virtual Reality) can offer considerable potential in the integration of active learning in an online environment With this background in mind, the objective of this study was to evaluate the hardware and software resources currently available for effective delivery of remote virtual laboratory learning against nine technical, social and design criteria. At the same time, it is also important to consider sustainability in this evaluation including carbon (SDG13) and ecological footprints (SDG14/15). Hardware options examined were the Computer, Google Cardboard, Meta Quest 2 and Microsoft HoloLens 2, while the software platforms examined were H5P Virtual Tours, 3D Vista Pro, Dynamics 365 Guides and a professionally created VR platform. The main findings were that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ system and each system has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the resources available at the institution and the type and level of knowledge and/or skill being delivered.
Clarkin, O. M., Morrissey, A., Obeidi, M. A., & Ryan, A. (2023). Assessment Of Different Platforms For Online Virtual Lab Demonstrations. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI). DOI: 10.21427/JXPC-SG69
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