Digital reality has been gradually introduced into all parts of human society, and the field of education is no exception due to the potential of technology and related tools to enhance the teaching and learning process. However, there is still a paucity of research in this area within an Irish higher education context. The research explores how to best employ virtual reality (VR), using the Oculus Quest 2 system, to improve and develop the level of contemporary training, as well as to enhance the educational experience. Both the technical and educational perspectives will be considered. The researched sample consists of 25 undergraduate students representing different profiles from within engineering education. The data collection included two stages, namely written questionnaires, and short semi-structured interviews relating to training sessions with Oculus Quest 2, in which participants were exposed to life on board the International Space Station (ISS), including the experiments and missions performed on the station. The results of the short interviews and questionnaires extracted in this work reflected that all the participants were very excited to work and interact with the experiences of virtual reality in engineering education. In addition, they rated the usability of virtual reality glasses overall as being very satisfactory, despite some students expressing the presence of minor challenges or problems. Most of the participants' reactions were positive regarding the possibility of including virtual reality devices and associated technologies in future training and support, as they indicated that these training sessions increased their motivation and passion for learning, whilst at the same time, supported the development of their digital reality skills.. In general, the outputs of the research show that the inclusion and empowerment of digital reality within higher education programmes can have significant value and benefit, leading to the recommendation that it would be used more extensively in the future.
Al-Juboori, H., Noonan, G., O'Brien, V., & Picovici, D. (2023). Instructional Considerations For Virtual Reality In Engineering Training And Education: Preliminary Research Results. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI). DOI: 10.21427/ESFH-1214
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