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Virtual Reality and Learning: A Case Study of Experiential Pedagogy in Art History

DOI: 10.4236/jilsa.2022.144005, PP. 57-70

Keywords: Virtual Reality, XR, Learning Outcomes, Art History, Experiential Pedagogy

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While images are central to the discipline of art history, surprisingly little research has been conducted on the uses of digital environments for teaching in the discipline. Over the past decade, more studies have emerged considering the egalitarian space that can be used by students and teachers in web-based applications and social media. A body of literature has begun to emerge out of a small network of scholars and educators interested in digital humanities and art history, providing examples of how new tools can be integrated into the standard slideshow and lecture format of the field. At the same time, the latest technology that proves revolutionary for the field has had very little study-virtual reality (VR). Additionally, sensory evidence for digital art history and the creation of immersive interactive and multimodal environments for knowledge production is still underexplored. As multiple educational metaverses are currently under development, understanding best practices and pedagogical use of VR has never been timelier. This study seeks to review the pedagogical use of VR in art history current in the field and introduces results from a study of the most effective ways to use these immersive experiences using Bloom’s revised taxonomy. Results confirm that the most effective method to structure VR assignments is to provide training on the technology, provide students with the necessary instructional material to introduce the concept, skill or technique to be learned, create or select an immersive experience that reinforces that topic, and conclude with a debrief or discussion about major takeaways from the experience.


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