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Virtual Scientific Tour of Environmental Locations

Mr Ghaith Zakaria,
Dr Sonia Wilkie

Victoria University

Scientific Tours, site visits and field trips are considered a key pedagogical element when teaching STEM units, fostering and enhancing students learning by providing hands-on and experiential learning experience.

The Hive is Victoria University’s innovation space whereby staff collaborate on the design and development of engaging, innovative teaching and learning strategies and activities. The Hive also hosts many visitors who are interested in learning about and applying these methods, innovations, and technologies.

Our visitors range from secondary school students, to internal and external undergraduate / graduate students, to staff from other institutions. Therefore, in order to cater to a wide range of visitors with interests in different fields, applications, and at different educational levels, we need to design the experience and present the information in a method that caters to these many factors accordingly.

Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR) experiences can be customised and personalised to suit different audiences (Chen and Fragomeni, 2018). Furthermore, AR/VR experiences have been found to increase student engagement, motivation, interaction and collaboration in tertiary education environments (Bacca, et. al, 2014). As such, we developed a series of AR/VR experiences to provide a tour of The HIVE space which showcases examples of the innovative learning and teaching approaches that are being implemented to enhance student learning, understanding and to inspire and promote active learning strategies for academics.

In this presentation we will showcase an AR/VR experience that was designed and developed to provide a tour of The Hive. The experience draws on a suite of tools including HP reveal, Metaverse, 360° videos, H5P, Jigspace and other discipline specific tools such as GeoGebra used for Mathematics, Night Sky used for Astronomy and Environmental Science, Hudl Technique for Sports and Biomechanics, and The Brain AR App for Anatomy. It also incorporates hands-on object-based learning experiences with 3D-printed models; for instance, 3D-printed chemical molecules, anatomical models and mechanical