AGOCG logo
Graphics Multimedia VR Visualisation Contents
Training Reports Workshops Briefings Index
Also available as an Acrobat File Back Next



Pratical Experience



VR in teaching

Multi-User VR

Multi-User VR in teaching


Observation Study


Data Capture

Ethical Issues




Case Studies Index

Multi-User Virtual Reality Technology as a Laboratory for Learning about Social Research: Issues and Prospects

Ralph Schroeder & Ray Lee

Department of Social Policy and Social Science
Royal Holloway - University of London
Egham, Surrey TW20 OEX



This paper describes a project to use multi-user virtual reality (VR) in teaching about social research. It begins by pointing to some of the problems in current research methods teaching and to some of the more general problems encountered in field research. Next it describes how simulations have been used to address some of these problems, what multi-user VR is, and how it might be used in teaching. At this stage the essay gives an account of the teaching sessions that were carried for this project, as well as of a separate participant observation study - and assesses the usefulness and benefits of this type of teaching and research. It also reports on a further part of the project which dealt with data capture about virtual populations and discusses some of additional tools that may be required for this. And since a number of ethical issues were raised in the course of this research, these are discussed at some length. We conclude that although much further investigation about using multi-user VR as a teaching tool is needed, this technology offers a host of possibilities that may fundamentally change the nature of social science teaching and research.

Graphics     Multimedia      Virtual Environments      Visualisation      Contents