Virtual lab gives students insight into genetics
Leicester Universitycontact supplier
Academics are investigating whether virtual reality can be used to enhance learning of laboratory tools and techniques.
The SWIFT (Second World Immersive Future Teaching) project uses a virtual reality programme called Second Life to create tailor-made learning environments, helping teachers solve a variety of practical teaching challenges.
Students can familiarise themselves with a laboratory setting in a risk-free environment and conduct genetic tests that would otherwise be too costly or time-consuming for an entire class to do.
Dr Suzanne Lavelle, Teaching Fellow on the SWIFT project, said: “A lot of research has shown that virtual experiences can count as real experiences in people’s minds, but there hasn’t been any real research into how effective it is as a tool for education.
“We felt that using the virtual environment might help students engage more with the theory of what they’re doing when they’re working in the laboratory.”
SWIFT is a collaborative project between the Beyond Distance Research Alliance and GENIE - the Genetics Education Networking for Innovation & Excellence at Leicester University.