Shifting Perspectives: Stimulating Critical Thinking Through the Use of Virtual Reality in an IS Curriculum
Thomas Chapman University of Mississippi
Neelima Bhatnagar University of Pittsburgh Johnstown
Abstract Virtual reality headsets and software have the ability to shift our perspective from the mundane to the extraordinary. The prolific and meteoric rise of cost-effective and immersive virtual reality systems has the potential to transform the ways in which educators and students think about classroom instruction. Prior to the last couple of years, educators have been limited in the breadth of ways they can use to fire their students’ imaginations and stimulate new ways of thinking about a subject. A science instructor teaching earth sciences might, for example, have shown his or her students a high-resolution video of a journey through the Grand Canyon in an effort to stimulate their visual senses and generate interest in the subject. Math and Language arts teachers have been even more limited in their ability to dramatically visualize their respective subjects, in order to place students at the center of the learning. By shifting the visual perspective of learners through the adoption of virtual reality, this research argues that educators can more directly stimulate the self-as-agent condition and the development of critical thinking skills, which Robert Marzano, Barbara McCombs, and others have argued are critical components of learning (McCombs & Marzano, 1990; Marzano, Pickering & McTighe, 1993). Three scenarios, specific to an Information Systems (IS) curriculum and pertaining primarily to college and university instruction, are articulated and common factors are extracted. In follow-up research, those factors will be tested in an empirical setting at institutions of higher learning across different regions of the country.
McCombs, B., & Marzano, R. (1990). Putting the self in self-regulated learning: The self as agent in integrating will and skill. Educational Physchologist, 25(1), pp. 51-69.
Marzano, R., Pickering, D., & McTighe, J. (1993). Assessing Student Outcomes: Performance Assessment Using the Dimensions of Learning Model. Alexandria, VA: Assn. for Supervision and Curriculum Devel.
Recommended Citation: Chapman, T., Bhatnagar, N., (2017). Shifting Perspectives: Stimulating Critical Thinking Through the Use of Virtual Reality in an IS Curriculum. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2017) n.4459, Austin, Texas