Using immersive technologies to support food-based education.
Thesis DisciplineHuman Interface Technology
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Human Interface Technology
The use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, combined with 360 degree images and videos, provides an opportunity for teachers to bring students into the classroom, even when they are not there. The possibility of immersing students into a virtual world could provide an answer to motivation and engagement issues for today’s students as well as provide a solution to some of the current constraints facing teachers, such as in food-based education. With the rapidly reducing cost of equipment and the increasing quality of virtual experience, it appears virtual reality is on the tipping-point of becoming a regular part of school programmes.
With the changing pace of society and the ease of access to processed foods, the need for food literacy is more important than ever. Kitchens are a costly commodity for schools and the obvious health and safety issues make teaching practical cooking skills challenging. This thesis outlines the results of a qualitative study that explores how foods education is delivered in Christchurch and the current limitations, and based on the results of this field study, describes the design, development and testing of a virtual classroom environment that teaches food safety content. With a focus on student engagement and motivation, data is collected from observation of the use of the virtual classroom and a post-test survey. Results show that students were highly motivated, with all participants giving the highest possible score when asked if it was fun to use.