Classimmerse App — VR — Practical AR & VR for Classroom use.

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Sushmita Chatterjee

This post is focused on the core features and current goals for our app/platform Classimmerse.

Our goal is to enable our app using VR in a classroom setting; practically by students and teachers.

Virtual Reality for Education and Training

As a company whose focus is education and training — we feel that virtual reality is not only a tool for gaming but has very strong potential as a supplemental tool in education and the training industry based on the target audience age group and learning/training use cases.

Our initial focus is High School and Early College education/learning where students need to study complex subjects as well as prepare themselves for standard courses and exams like the SAT and ACT. To accommodate different attention spans, the goal is to provide short “nugget” sized supplemental lessons that are 15 to 20 minutes long. The focus is to engage, “easing the learning process of S.T.E.M based subjects” and also connect with a real-world issue or phenomenon. One of our initial goals is to create anatomy lessons in S.T.E.M that align with some of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Virtual Reality Technology

VR(Virtual reality) is a technology that uses computer generation technology to enable enhanced three-dimensional environments to create an alternate reality or near reality that humans can experience through their sensory perception. These generated environments allow users to interact with various 3D objects and also allow “exploration” within the environments. Most of the current VR based systems create this “sense of presence and interactivity” within a device that uses lenses called “Head Mounted Devices”.

It is important to understand the VR concepts and how it is related to the experience and its use case. A virtual reality experience is a result of the human — sensory perceptions and inputs, the device capabilities and the software or the “app” that enables the experience. There are different “kinds of VR experiences” and we will try to focus on some of our core goals.

Designing the Classimmerse App — The Use Cases

Our app is targeted for learning & training, specifically in a seated setting i.e a classroom — which may be defined as a traditional classroom or space where the experience is done with the seated user(s). The focus was interactivity and exploration used in training or learning scenarios — for example, a health classroom or an anatomy training session.

The Oculus GO provides some of the best practices that should be considered for any experiences; even those that do not use this device. We tried out many existing educational apps and allowed multiple teachers, parents, and students to experience various VR apps in education like Body VR, Labster VR, Apollo VR and many more in our lab.

The summary use case analysis for Classimmerse is as follows:

  • Low Cost and affordable as a supplement (not a replacement for lessons).
  • Comfortable headgear with breathable materials and lightweight for students and teachers.
  • Good safety and age limit practices (example ages 13+) enforced by the vendor. The Standalone VR also does not require any additional PC or external devices to run.
  • Comfortable experiences created using the best practices that do not create eye strain and neck strain, nor motion sickness to users.
  • Short “nugget” size supplemental lessons that can be easily retained by older youths during in-classroom or after school informal sessions. Some of the requested lessons from teachers were: virtual dissections, health, human anatomy, United Nations SDG goals, chemistry unsafe experiments, natural or global phenomenon.
  • Lessons that have a specific goal/objective and which also address both the teacher’s and student’s needs. A product which was created after many interviews, feedback from actual teachers who have experienced VR, and focus group of students in high school and college. Our initial focus groups were teachers and high school/college students locally.
  • Constant feedback from students/teachers during the development process on some key metrics like — engagement, boredom, usefulness, time limits and many more.
  • The ability to extend the platform for future lessons from pre-packaged lessons to creator platforms where custom content can be built/integrated by the users on additional devices.

Future Roadmap

Collaboration or Multi-user VR mode allowing lesson collaboration with Voice/AI and ML.

We also plan to create Teacher Training models and lessons that help teachers use/train in technologies like AR & VR effectively in a classroom.

Classimmerse App — Getting the App

We have currently released our app Classimmerse on the Oculus GO platform which is a 3DOF VR headset without positional tracking. Our app is currently available globally using Access Keys. Once the user subscribes to a key at the website, the key code is sent and they can redeem the key and download the app.

Classimmerse App — VR — Lessons in S.T.E.M for classroom use

Science is about “exploring and doing things” rather than merely memorizing the concepts. VR enables a lessons based approach that helps in introducing interactions and explorations that not only help students learn better but also “retains in your brain” for a longer period of time, as most humans(80%) by nature are visual learners.

A student also feels more inclined to learn something if he/she is “enjoying” the experience of learning. The classroom-based “lab/in-class” session does not require any one-to-one student to teacher interaction. It allows easy supplemental use for 20–30 minutes by the student — using his/her own pace of learning for the sections as chosen by a teacher. The teacher can use a “Cast device” to switch between different sessions if required in an in-classroom collaborative session.

The five-phased model helps in combining a standard instructional model and science frameworks like (NGSS) that are well suited to high school and college-based learning and training. These have been mapped to various components in a lesson using video, simulations, rotating models and interactions in VR. The ability to promote inquiry and “doing” has been leveraged by our app by adding components like “Heart Activity Lab” which helps students to do a standard lab-based activity and also visualize a real open heart. The models can be “rotated” using the standard Oculus GO remote.

Classimmerse App — VR — Sample Anatomy Lesson Preview

The sample lesson: “ Why is Heart Disease the leading cause of death in the United States ?” The sample does not use contextual switches but the lesson can be used to address issues which are also a top WHO priority.

The lessons are divided into five different sections. Either all of the sections can be completed starting from ENGAGE or the teacher can use his/her discretion to use only parts of the lesson as a supplement in a lab or classroom. Once a section is completed “ A Star” appears for the lesson to denote that the particular section was completed for that session.

We start with an engaging case study that helps students start their Scientific Inquiry process

The current sample starts with a video that shows the current rate of heart attacks in the USA. However, a case study can be anything from a simple task for a student, survey, animation, simulation or a video. This starts the process of communicating the goal and teachers may also supplement external apps, videos or lectures at this point to help students get the goal/objectives for the lesson.

Random Q&A, Quiz during a learning process helps both students and teachers to start identifying some core key areas to the problem. The current demo uses computer-generated questions. Our future builds will accommodate Interactive Q&A.

The Heart Model shows the various sections of the heart including some basic structure and functions labels of the human heart. The model can be interacted and rotated on all sides using the Oculus GO Remote.

“Edit Label” section allows the teacher or student to create bookmarks or notes that he/she can additionally refer to For example #aortanotesbymrsmith#aortabookmarkwebsiteMyschool.

The “feel or experience of a real heart” beating cannot equal any lectures or videos that show how the heart beats. This section goes through various videos and images along with a real human heart simulation that is beating and can be rotated to see various angles of the heart. It also helps you look at a basic human cell which is a component of cells that make up your heart.

Heart Activity Lab helps teachers integrate an in-classroom activity lab that allows students use their own pulse to measure their own heart rate and actually see the “range” of heart rates from normal to possible stroke patients. This can be easily supplemented with standard in-classroom heart anatomy lessons or labs.

Data visualization is an important aspect of science learning as it gives us the ability to classify our facts and data and find out the causes, impacts and other factors. The 3D Visualization charting tools that we use for the demo are not contextual but can be easily modified to reflect contextual data for any country, nation, state or local community.

Summary — Journal with notes, hypothesis, tags, summaries, observations, and conclusions. Journal help in sharing notes across sessions.

The current app is available for download with the FREE LESSON shown above. You may direct any suggestions/feedback to us via info@learnroll.com

The app showcases some core features for this lesson only.

Our plan is to develop lessons that are well suited and practical for classroom-based learning and training. The short term goal is to allow users who are mature or younger adults (13+) to adopt the technology with simple lessons and make it as a part of their learning path similar to other learning mediums like laptops, mobiles or tablets. The lessons also focus on “creating experiences” that uses a non-cinematic VR approach that can be easily consumed with ease in a classroom and is not very expensive to build or scale.

Featured in ARVRINEDU

This is a site managed and maintained by Jaime Donally who reviews solutions and products that are fit for students or educators specific to immersive education only. The focus is on the practical use of technologies that enable Augmented, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality since 2016

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