Explanation of Difficult Concepts in Science Classics Using Virtual Reality (VR) Technology
Chun-Yeung Lo, Derek Hang-Cheong Cheung, Kenneth Ming Li, Andy Ka-Leung Ng and Wai-Man Szeto
The use of VR technology in education has become prominent in recent years. Furthermore, technological advancement in mobile technologies has also made VR much more accessible to students than before. A VR mobile application has been developed to assist students’ learning in the General Education Foundation Programme – In Dialogue with Nature (UGFN1000). It aims to provide immersive visual experiences that help students grasp abstract concepts present in the classics. In UGFN1000, the cosmological model of Aristotle and Newtonian mechanics are two of the more difficult concepts in the course. Therefore four modules have been developed to enhance students’ understanding of these concepts. The first two modules allow students to visualize the relationship between the empirical observations of heavenly bodies from the earth and the cosmological model proposed by Aristotle. This enables students to appreciate the credibility of Aristotle’s idea and the significance of the emergence of the modern sun-centered model. The remaining two modules show the trajectories of cannonballs shot vertically upward from both a moving train and a stationary train. This helps them understand better Newton’s Laws of Motion and appreciate the conceptual change in the explanation of projectile motion from Aristotle to Newton. This VR app was used in tutorial classes, where students learnt the concerned concepts together under the guidance of the teacher, followed by discussions on relevant concepts. In this presentation, we focus on the process of development and the actual implementation of this VR mobile app.