A new book chapter, Introducing virtual reality in maintaining concentration among pupils with concentration disorder, written together with Eva Mårell-Olsson and Jenny Kinert, has just been published in the book Perspectives on Wearable Enhanced Learning (WELL): Current Trends, Research, and Practice by Springer. Digital download now, hardcover available in December
Mårell-Olsson, E., Mejtoft, T., & Kinert, J. (2019). Virtual reality as an environment for learning: Facilitating a controlled environment for pupils with diagnosed concentration disorders. In I. Buchem, R. Klamma & F. Wild (Eds.), Perspectives on Wearable Enhanced Learning (WELL): Current Trends, Research, and Practice (pp. 367-384). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Pupils with concentration disorders need an education that is adapted for them; otherwise, they might have a harder time fulfilling the goals of their education. They often need an adjustable learning environment with fewer distractions, clearer tasks, and lots of encouragement in order to succeed. Unfortunately, the public education system often fails in providing such pupils the aid and the support they need.
This paper presents a study regarding how virtual reality (VR) can be used as a learning support for pupils aged 16–18 years with diagnosed concentration disorders and how this technology can support them in accomplishing their educational goals. This study was performed as a case study with three sources of data – (1) observations during a key task test, (2) qualitative interviews with the participants, and (3) a survey. During the key task test, the informants explored two VR applications designed for educational purposes. To get a deeper understanding of the participants’ experiences with using VR in education, the results of the interviews were compared to the results of the task test. The survey regarding general opinions and thoughts about using VR for educational purposes was used as a complement to the interview study and the observations during the key task test (i.e. triangulation).
The findings are presented in three themes, each of which processes important features that the technology needs to provide in order to be suitable for use in learning environments. The presented themes are 1) increasing the ability to concentrate, 2) the suitability of using VR technology in learning, and 3) developing knowledge acquisition with the support of VR technology. The findings indicate that the level of concentration can be increased while using VR technology due to a controlled environment. Further, the findings indicate that VR technology can be suitable as a complement in education for pupils with concentration disorders and can support pupils in developing their own knowledge according to their specific needs.