Virtual Reality As An Educational Tool

N. Sala (Switzerland)


Multimedia Technologies, Virtual Reality, Constructivism, 3-D Environment.


Virtual reality is the technology that allows its users to become immersed in a computer generated virtual world. Virtual reality includes the technology for three dimensional (3-D) displays, methods for generating virtual images including 3-D modeling and techniques for orienting the user in the virtual world. This technology is being used in health care by visualizing surgical process, in architecture by visualizing large and small scale design process, and in training airforces by visualizing virtual air fights. Furthermore, virtual reality is being used to support education in a variety of fields. The aim of this paper is to present an educational experience of the use of the virtual reality in two different undergraduate courses of Mathematics (Mathematics 1 and Mathematics 5) at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio, Switzerland (University of Italian Switzerland). In our courses, we have organized the lectures using multimedia technologies, for example: scientific documentaries, hypertext, hypermedia, 2D CAD (Computer Aided Design). To introduce the connections between mathematics, nature, and architecture we have also utilised some virtual objects, created using VRML (Virtual Reality Modelling Language). In our case, we have observed that virtual reality is not only an educational tool but it is propaedeutic for a correct students’ background.

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