Stanford University

Immersive Virtual Environments and Education Simulations

Blascovich, J., & Bailenson, J. (2005). Immersive Virtual Environments and Education Simulations. In Cohen, Portney, Rehberger, Thorsen (Eds.) Virtual Decisions: Digital Simulations for Teaching Reasoning in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Mahwah , New Jersey: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Inc.

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The multitude of methodologies described in this volume and elsewhere demonstrates the value placed on the creation and use of simulations (Le., synthetic or artificial situations) for education and training and associated research by members of a wide spectrum of disciplines. The notion of educational and training simulations is undoubtedly ancient. The ideal toward which creators of such simulations aspire, fidelity to the actual situations represented, is unchanging. However, the tools used to create and implement simulations change constantly. In this chapter, we focus on one such tool, immersive virtual environment technology (IVET). The chapter is divided into three sections. The first provides conceptual and background information regarding immersive virtual environments (IVEs) and the tools or technologies (IVETs) used to create them. The second discusses possible advantages and disadvantages of IVETs for educational and training simulations and research. The third provides an illustration of an IVET simulation.

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