Exploring Space Equipment for Science

Case Study at Plumpton College

Exploring Space Equipment for Science Click the image to view the app in the Oculus Store

Plumpton College wanted to run a trial that included computer generated environments to compare against 360o photography and video. The entry-level science teacher, planned to teach a series of lessons on how technology is used in space and enquired whether there was any pre-created virtual reality learning resources. The team found the official International Space Station Tour for Oculus Go. The VR app consists of an interactive replica of the ISS interspersed with learning videos and quizzes. In the classroom, Oculus Go headsets were used as a station within a carousel of activities. The learning objective for the activity was to explore the VR world and find examples of specialist equipment. Students then completed a written exercise on another station.

The students found the mobile VR headset and the app engaging and the majority of the 40 learners spent on average ten minutes within the virtual environment. In hindsight, the teacher reflected that they would have changed the order of the stations so that students were prepared enough to meet the specific learning objective. Students who started with the VR activity were not yet ready to identify appropriate technology compared to students who used the headset towards the end of the session. There was also no formative assessment at the VR station, so it was difficult to ascertain how much learning took place beyond engagement in the subject.