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Test bed description

This project aims to reduce inequalities in educational attainment by exploring how scalable immersive technologies can improve the learning experience in secondary schools, particularly for children in care. Knowledge-based subjects in Key Stage 3 (pre-GCSE) are often the most difficult for this cohort, as they are not typically exposed to films, books, or other cultural experiences which give them reference points to draw on. When faced with a term such as “cobblestone streets”, these students often resign from the task altogether.

Immersive experiences have the potential to bring out-of-reach experiences to life, and develop students’ sense of curiosity as well as exposing them to the knowledge needed for exam-related questions. The project app takes excerpts from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and brings them to life in a VR environment. It uses simple, low-cost techniques to ensure accessibility for students who do not have access to high end VR equipment or a flagship smartphone. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the app has had to be able to run smoothly from home without intervention from the project team, and is designed with an intuitive user experience that runs on a large range of devices.

PIs: Mattia Montanari, Richard Smith

https://oxr.eng.ox.ac.uk/blog/edtechphase1/

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