Solihull college and university centre lecturer uses virtual reality to help English students

SOLIHULL College and University centre recently used virtual reality (VR) to develop students’ creative writing skills.

English lecturer and teaching and learning coach, Rachel Arnold wanted to use an innovative method to support her GCSE students.

She worked with computing and emerging technologies lecturer Simon Hunt to use VR headsets, allowing the students to immerse themselves in their writing tasks.

The students started off playing team building activities to familiarise themselves with the headsets.

They then began working in pairs where one described what they could see in the headset to their partner, who made notes.

They then wrote creatively about the experience.

Rachel, who is studying a master of education at the University of Cambridge, often looks for new methods of teaching.

She said: “I wanted to break down barriers and use a medium they’re familiar with – quite a lot of the students play virtual reality games and I wanted to use their comfort zone to enable them to tap into other ideas.”

“It felt more real for them, and their writing was more vivid and realistic as a result.

“The difference in quality after having done that activity was considerably better – they were really engaged and wanted to do more.”

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