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Ideation in a virtual reality learning environment: a pilot project from Iceland in innovation education

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posted on 07.06.2007 by Gisli Thorsteinsson, Howard G. Denton
Innovation Education (IE) is a new subject area in Icelandic schools. The aim is to train students to identify needs and problems in their environment and to find solutions: a process of ideation. This activity has been classroom based but now a specific Virtual Reality Learning Environment technology (VRLE) has been created to support ideation. This technology supports online communications between students and teacher and enables them to develop drawings and descriptions of the solutions. The VRLE is Internet connected and the students work online with their ideas in real time. As this learning environment is new it is important to evaluate and explore its use and value in supporting ideation in the context of IE. The primary author has run a series of pilot studies to identify the pedagogical issues of using the new VRLE to support ideation within IE. In this paper, he discusses the background of Innovation Education in Icelandic Education and reports the pilot studies. The main aim of the pilot studies was to explore the ways in which ideation was developed in students when using IE materials within the VRLE. The researcher used the following research questions: a. What are the pedagogical issues of using the VRLE for ideation in Innovation Education? b. Which issues influence the ideation process in the VRLE in Innovation Education? c. How can the teacher effectively manage such issues? These questions were explored using a range of specific techniques in an action research model. Data was gathered from three, triangulated, pilot studies. This was analysed and used to prepare a new set of research questions and a more developed exploration using a subsequent series of case studies.



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This is a conference paper.