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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

4. Using Virtual Reality in Research Methods Teaching

Pantelidis (1996) suggests that virtual reality is a potential candidate for use wherever one might use a teaching simulation. Networked virtual reality (VR) provides what Dede (1996) calls an "emerging representational container" capable of enhancing "sophisticated types of instructional applications", by virtue of their immersive, fluid and distributed character. The term `Immersive VR' is used here to refer to a computer-generated display which gives users a sense of being present in an environment other than that they are actually in and to interact with that environment (see Schroeder, 1996, 25). `Desktop VR' systems only display the virtual environment on a 2-D desktop computer screen. Such systems do not therefore permit the kind of immersion experienced with head-mounted displays and other input/output devices like gloves or hand-held 3D joysticks. However, like immersive VR, they provide a first-person perspective on a 3-D computer-generated world. Finally, `second-person VR' systems represent the user as an avatar (or figure) on the screen without a first person perspective.

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