Q83: Educational Virtual Environment Based on Oculus Rift and Leap Motion Devices

Zilak,M., Car,Z., Jezic,G.

Virtual reality (VR) technology offers numerous benefits in different application areas, especially in education. VR brings new approaches to learning that can make the education process more attractive, while at the same time learners can develop creativity and innovativeness. Despite the possible benefits that VR can offer, the use of VR is still not widespread for educational purposes. Furthermore, the potential of VR for assistive technologies in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) domain is recognized but has not been fully exploited. In this paper, development of an elementary mathematical virtual classroom prototype based on Oculus Rift and Leap Motion devices is described. The learning concept used in the prototype was taken from the state-of-the-art AAC application for mobile devices that introduces children with the concept of quantity which is one of the preconditions for adopting the concept of number. To analyze user’s satisfaction with the application and acceptance of a new technology in general, user evaluation of the developed prototype was conducted. In general, a positive feedback from users without disabilities suggests that it makes sense to combine VR elements with education as well as AAC technologies. Contributing factors, such as the level of immersion in VR environments, unnatural behavior of virtual hands, and the level of familiarity with the VR technology, are identified as some of the most important aspects that need to be considered in the follow-up studies concerning users with disabilities (i.e. children with complex communication needs).