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VR English Language Learning Research Update

We're working hard here on our University College London Global Engagement Office funded project which we're working on alongside our partners Dr Andrea Revesz of University College London's Institute of Education and researchers at the University of Salento AVR Lab.

As we outlined in our post the other day covering our VR English language research, we're now using Mozilla Hubs to carry out our research project. Mozilla Hubs offers the capability to meet and interact in real time with anyone in the word in virtual spaces just through a web browser. The so-called "browser-based" VR or webXR means that it is a hugely accessible way of providing and exploring virtual reality scenes since no downloads of any programs are required (you just share a link to the scene) and you can also explore the 3D scenes via your smartphone and PC without the need for a VR headset. If you have access to a VR headset then it makes the whole experience clearly more immersive, but we are pleased that this easy way of sharing our content for our research study will streamline how the students in our research can go about exploring the various places we're creating.

Alongside the ancient church we're using for our pedagogical task, we're also using a 700 year old castle built by Frederick II in the southern Italian region of Puglia. The idea with this 3D model is to get English language learners here in Italy to guide their peers around as if they were an English-speaking tour guide. These students will have been gradually exposed in natural ways to the typical type of language that would be needed for such a task, and we'll be monitoring the difference between those guiding their peers around in non-immersive VR (i.e. using their computers as opposed to a VR headset) versus those using more traditional methods of learning - such as paper-based materials.

This castle was purchased from the Turbosquid 3D model website and can be found here. Here is the castle we'll be using:

Stay tuned for more updates.


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