Arizona State University completely replaced traditional laboratory experiments with virtual reality ones in an introductory biology course last fall, according to reporting by Inside Higher Ed.
The university told the publication that the VR experiments boosted success among underrepresented students in a pilot program and found students to be very enthusiastic about the immersive environments the institution developed with Dreamscape Immersive, a virtual reality company.
“I’ve been blown away by students’ reactions,” Annie Hale, executive director of the Action Lab at Arizona State, told Inside Higher Ed. “The VR is the glue that’s really engaging the students and inviting them to participate in the curriculum, willingly excited to look at Excel spreadsheets.”
While Arizona State instructors are excited about the technology, science educators at other institutions quoted in the article warned that VR may not faithfully replicate real-life lab experience.