Use VR to learn

See how the students perform as they solve tasks.

About

VR provides the opportunity to create convincing illusions. It gives the feeling of being truly present in an artificial environment - and can provide a more practical, ordinary and fun approach to a subject that many students experience as very theoretical and boring. In the VR assignments we will present mathematical questions and assignments in a real-life and practical way - which enhance the understanding of the subject as well as enhance the learning of basic mathematical skills. This product (at least not in the short term) is not intended to replace traditional education, but serves as a supplement. This will contribute to further differentiation of teaching and learning.

The teaching material consists of a student part and a teacher part. The student part consists of assignments and the teacher part consists of different measurements of the students' achievements, as well as groups and the class unified.

See how the students perform

See statistics on how students have performed at different levels

Students solve tasks on their phones

Students solve maths using virtual reality on their phones

Follow the students

You can keep track of all progress while the students are doing tasks

Exploring the Use of VR Technologies in Mathematics Class

Professor Thomas Nordahl, Innlandet University College

Virtual Reality in Mathematics Class

Mathematics continues to play an ever greater role in critical areas of society such as technology, economics and medicine. Basic knowledge in the subject is a prerequisite for an individual's opportunities for further education and participation in professional life. However, we continue to see poor results among students in Norwegian primary and lower secondary schools where mathematics is concerned, especially among the boys. The results from the PISA and TIMSS surveys have confirmed this for several years now.

Current teaching methods depend on textbooks to an unnecessary degree, while new technologies are only put to limited use. This limits learning outcomes because each individual responds differently to these different forms of presentation. The results therefore currently depend far too much on a teacher's availability for individual follow-up.

Our project aims to improve general mathematical understanding and skills and subsequent test results at primary and lower secondary schools by using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in the classroom. One of the biggest problems in teaching is how students only absorb understanding and knowledge at a rate of approximately 50 percent of the time set aside for learning; for some students, those figures are as low as 10 percent. (Hattie & Yates, 2015) Interference and disturbance from other students in the class and not feeling that they master the subject assignments are important factors here. VR provides two major benefits: students are fully focused on their tasks when they use VR headsets and, not the least, wearing and using the headset is fun. Today's students are quite familiar with virtual environments through gaming technology.

The product itself is being developed through a collaboration between university professors in mathematics and education and VR Education. Monitoring, follow-up and testing are important elements of a major research project on practical learning at Innlandet University College.

The project was tested at two 5th grade classes in Hamar and Elverum, limited to the multiplication tables. One classroom/group used VR headsets, while the other functioned as the control group learning math by regular means of teaching. Both classes took mapping tests in all four arithmetical operations (addition, subtraction, division and multiplication) before and after a project test phase which lasted six weeks.

The results were very encouraging: The VR group showed noticeably better scores on multiplication tables, but perhaps even more important: The class showed an even better score on the overall mapping test that included all operations, which may suggest that their understanding of mathematics had clearly improved.

Teacher assignments

The solution allows teachers to monitor each student, on an assignment basis, daily basis and over time. This solution also provides teachers with more time to teach, because the lessons are automated and corrected automatically. It will be possible to see

  • how quickly a student responds
  • how many correct answers the student had
  • the relationship between correct and wrong answers
  • how long time a student has been using on the lessons

Scores can be shown to groups of students or to the whole class.
One goal is to free up time, so teachers can spend time teaching and less time correcting lessons and filling in papers.

Student assignments

The virtual arena is a shopping center where students have to solve mathematical tasks by dealing with items that pass by on a checkout conveyor belt.
Keywords here may be: How much does it cost? How much should they pay? How many are there? What is the total cost? The students receive diamonds and dragons along the way as rewards for correct answers.
This makes learning more realistic and more understandable for all students, and the concept is scalable.
One restriction would be the challenge of getting each student a PC, but it is getting easier to make cell phones and VR compatible around the world to stimulate learning.

Reactions

VR Education has only received positive reactions so far, where ever the product has been used and demonstrated. It is now being tested at several schools and will be commercialised this summer. Here is a summary of feedback we have received from the primary and secondary school in Rykkinn:

  • " VR headsets are fun "
  • " New ways of learning math are good, we have learned a lot "
  • " The students are asking for more lessons like this. More shopping malls, stores and other places to go – and VR lessons in other subjects. "
  • " Thank you for giving us the opportunity to test it! "