Can Virtual Reality Engage the Unmotivated Student?
Principal Rex Kozak at East Marshall High School in LeGrand, Iowa, says YES! And his virtual reality-based educational program is proof.
The Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders (VREP) program was created in East Marshall High School in 2006 as "an educational initiative offering K-12 students an opportunity to develop and expand their learning across the curriculum by capturing student interest through the use of Virtual Reality and 3D".
Students are required to produce eight projects a year--two each quarter. One each quarter has to serve an educational need within the school with a teacher considered as "customer". The other project must focus on a topic of the student's own choosing.
The course was graded and Principal Kozak relied on feedback from student peers and comments from parents and teacher "customers' for determining the letter grade.
His goal is to provide a workplace experience in which a manager may provide guidance more on the desired form of the deliverable than on the process.
The site reports that since 2006, 28 students have been invited to take one or more semesters of the VREP program and Kozak has observed qualitative success with his students, describing several students who were on the path of dropping out and were "rescued" by VREP.
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