Monthly Archives: September 2016

EDET 679: Essential Question: How can immersive virtual reality enhance gamification?

Initial Blog Post for Week 4

by Aleta May

Gamification and Open Education EDET679, with Dr. Graham

EDET 679: Essential Question: How can immersive virtual reality enhance gamification?

Engagement and Flow

According to McGonigal (2011) in Frost, Matta, & MacIvor (2015), millennials have a reliance on technology for support as no other generation has before them, and many “millennial students spend 10,000 hours playing video games by the time they are twenty-one.”

Psychological needs that are filled lead to self-regulated ways of being and is tied to engagement. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is met through the need for relatedness, competence and autonomy. Autonomy can be achieved when students are allowed to control their learning conditions. Autonomy is gained when interest is increased. Interest is increased when students use what is familiar to them so they can relate to what they are learning; in this case, this would mean integrating technology into academics. Relatedness is the need to feel interconnected, . . . The storyline was intertwined with the material to provide a holistic and immersive experience for students” (Frost, Matta, & MacIvor, 2015, p. 62).

Virtual Reality Defined

The quote below helps me understand on a deeper level what VR is and what it is not: “Virtual worlds are based on virtual environments, while while pervasive worlds may utilize augmented reality to enhance the visualization of, and interaction with, the virtual content” (Laine and Sedano, p. 50). Augmented reality (images taken from cameras) use virtual elements for augmentation versus augmented virtuality that embeds real-world camera pictures to enhance the virtual-world.

Motivating Students to Learn Content Through Virtual Reality

Immersive virtual reality (VR) can be used to motivate learning in a variety of subject areas, such as Art History and Social Studies. When a simple projection of pictures was compared to immersive VR so that students could visually experience visiting museum displays in 3D in order to view statues from different angles, it was amazing the way motivation increased and with adjusted lighting. Teachers were empowered to position combine sculptures within a virtual museum, creating an interesting setting from which to learn. Students wore head mounted displays (HMD) with a Oculus Rift HMD to “go into” the museum and interact with objects. Google cardboard with a smart phone could be used for a HMD wearable as an alternative. Here is a link an App in iTunes that was mentioned in the article by Mark C. Yap, provided by Lee, that would come out in 2016: .

I found this link when I went to:

and signed in with my personal email address, then I clicked on and got to see a little bit of what could be in exploring coral reefs, the surface of Mars, and other journeys. The app above is free and is for iPad and iPhone. The iPhone (or other smart phone) fits into the virtual Google Cardboard. One can upgrade for a little more money. YouTube has a virtual reality channel. VR 3D.

Go to this link for choices of discovery 3D videos:

Here is a specific link you can view and imagine how it would look different with the VR Google Cardboard and a smartphone with this:

More places to visit:

3d Videos on YouTube 3d

Nat Geo

I put more links in the reference section.

What a great way to inspire students to write about what they see—while providing them with a vocabulary bank!  Google After evaluating the impact of immersive VR from the perspective of high school students in a study, “the immersive VR increases the students’s motivation in studying the lesson topic, in particular increasing their attention, satisfaction and the perceived relevance of the teaching material” Casu, Spano, Sorrentino, & Scateni, 2015, p. 7).

“A pervasive world is a system that enables the interplay between physical and digital worlds by detecting the user’s context” (Laine & Sedano, 2015, p. 50). A technology that implements a pervasive world may be a smartphone. If VR fitness is involved, there are two dimensions of flow. One is for a game to be both attractive and effective by balancing skill and challenge. There needs to be “an optimal intensity-to-fitness ratio” (Laine & Sedano, p. 52) in order to keep in mind that the Attractiveness of a game is associated with phychological/gameplay and Effectiveness is associated with physiological/exercise.

Exergames can be combined as a way to integrate physical exercise and digital games. An example is to use “context-aware technology” for networking three people to video-conference while playing table tennis, while communicating through video and audio channels (Laine, T. H. & Sedano, C. I., 2015, p. 51).


There are so many examples of how using virtual reality (VR) can enhance learning by keeping students motivated and goal oriented. VR is another tool to add to ways to enhance a course design. VR activities embedded into an overall gaming platform can be part of quests that in turn keep students in the flow of learning.


Casu, A., Spano, L. D., Sorrentino, F., & Scateni, R. (2015). RiftArt: Bringing masterpieces in the classroom through immersive virtual reality. In Biasotti, S. & Tarini, M. (eds.), STAG: Smart Tools & Apps for Graphics.

Frost, R. D., Matta, V., & MacIvor (2015). Assessing the efficacy of incorporating game dynamics in a learning management system. Journal of Information Systems Education, 26(1), 59-70.

Laine, T. H., & Sedano, C. I. (2015). Distributed Pervasive Worlds: The case of exergames. Educational Technology & Society, 18(1), 50-66.

Yap, M. C. (2015).   Google cardboard for a K-12 social studies module.

Link References:

Go to this link for choices of discovery 3D videos:

3d Videos on YouTube 3d

Nat Geo