Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual and Augmented Reality

VR/AR Headset Image

Virtual Reality as a teaching and learning tool 

Virtual reality (VR) as a teaching and learning tool has gained significant interest in the last few years. A range of new technologies have emerged in the market making VR more accessible to the average person and, potentially, schools.

The perceived benefits of VR are learning possibilities afforded by an immersive environment. This has given rise to the question of how to best use these new immersive and rich environments to support learning.

SMART is investigating the students’ learning experience in a headset VR-based learning environment by measuring various dimensions of a technology-mediated approach. SMART has developed a framework which provides a standardised and structured definition of the users’ experience in a virtual reality learning domain and therefore provides a common understanding of the domain to the involved subject matter experts.

SMART in collaboration with Devika conducted a study on 128 students (grade 5-11) in NSW, Australia. For this purpose, the impact of students’ state of mind and virtual reality features on their learning experience and perceived learning was investigated. Additionally, the impact of these constructs on each other was examined to provide insight to design learning environments involving immersive technologies.

The results of this study will better inform science educators, instructional designers, and multimedia developers to optimize 3D virtual reality features for delivering successful content to educate students.

Delivering Remote Rehabilitation through Immersive Technology

Psychological problems can be costly to society due to reduced quality of life of the sufferer, absence from work in addition to high healthcare costs. Industries are looking for an effective solution and one technological innovation that is likely to take off is the use of VR in psychotherapy and rehabilitation. This is largely due to the increasing commercial availability and affordability of this technology.

SMART is investigating the capabilities of VR and its effectiveness, to elevate the quality of mental health support delivered to injured workers in remote locations. Identifying a cost-effective VR/AR solution for use in remote situations will be a significant change in many areas of the health industry. People who are suffering from any sort of mental illness or trauma would benefit from having access to on-demand psychological support. This could extend to sufferers of social isolation, depression and many other areas in mental health.

SMART in collaboration with Coal Services Pty Ltd. and Advantage SME we are investigating the effectiveness of VR as a therapeutic solution for mineworkers. The remoteness of mineworkers can often be an impediment to receiving necessary treatment and rehabilitation after suffering an injury. Barriers to treatment may include cost, the availability of therapist, logistics, stigma etc. Through the use of VR technologies, there may be an opportunity to elevate the quality of support delivered to injured workers.


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Shiva Pedram Headshot

Dr Shiva Pedram

Telephone: +61 2 4239 2353


Last reviewed: 19 November, 2018