Design Process for Accessible Virtual Reality Learning Environments: A First Approach

Design Process for Accessible Virtual Reality Learning Environments: A First Approach

Zeoli Antonio Maldonado
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2325-4.ch010
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Virtual reality has captured the attention of people. Since virtual reality has become more realistic, with the evolution of the technology like the innovation of smartphones, it has been more accessible for society, and many industries have begun research on the application of VR for training and for learning about certain specific topics as it allows reducing accidents and maximizes safety. Their use in the education industry has been best seen as a tool to complement certain issues that may be difficult to understand since it can allow one to virtually move to certain areas from safe areas. However, the development virtual environments is not fully specialized to implicitly include and promote learning, much less the consideration of people with disabilities. The main objective of this chapter is the presentation of a design process for the development of virtual learning environments that allows accessibility.
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Virtual Reality technology is always associated with headsets and many kinds of inputs, which are needed for the interaction with the Virtual Environment (VEs). VEs are 3D scenes computer-generated and presented at the user on a screen, in the case of head mounted display (HMD), the screen is inside the VR’s headset. VEs respond to movement and interaction with the user thought inputs like gloves, phones, game controllers, etc. These devices receive and send data between the environment and the user. This exchange of information made the illusion of interaction and generate sense of immersion and thanks this characteristic that Human Computer Interfaces for VR has become more and more adaptive and complete for the user. In the area of education, VR has become a topic recently discussed, both for institution education and for training (Laura & Michela, 2015)According to Freina and Ott, there are some investigations about rehabilitation of people with disabilities using VR applications.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Diegetic: Is one kind of navigation system that show illustrative information to the user using elements that no exit on the real world.

Field of View (FOV): Is the view that is visible to the user while rotating their head from a fixed body position.

Head Mounted Display (HMD): A set of goggles or a helmet with tiny monitors in front of each eye to generate images seen by the wearer as three-dimensional.

Gaze Targeting: It is a navigation system that consists of observing certain objects through a visual pointer that appears on the screen to be able to interact with them.

Virtual Reality (VR): Virtual reality (VR) places the experiencer in another location entirely. Whether that location has been generated by a computer or captured by video, it entirely occludes the user’s natural surroundings.

Non-Diegetic: Is one kind of navigation system that subtly indicates the information to the user.

Data Glove: An interactive device—often resembling a glove worn on the hand—that connects to a computer system and facilitates fine-motion control within virtual reality.

Agency: The capacity of an entity (a person or other entity) to act in, and influence, an artificial environment.

Immersion: A psychological sense of being in a virtual environment.

Presence: A feeling of being in and of the virtual world, and the ignoring of physical world distractions.

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