Progressive Pedagogy for Extended Reality: Shaping and Facilitating the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Progressive Pedagogy for Extended Reality: Shaping and Facilitating the Fourth Industrial Revolution

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6932-3.ch002
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This chapter provides an insight into the theoretical perspectives which form the foundation of extended reality (XR) and its emergence in practice as a fundamental part of science curricula. Issues such as the authenticity of learning, the validity and reliability of XR within processes of assessment, and the theoretical underpinnings of pedagogical approaches in health professions pedagogy are illuminated. Also considered are the implications of XR within the context of science-based learning and the delineation of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains of learning in relation to patient outcomes at the front line of care in applied scientific practice. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted all science based pedagogic practice since March 2020, is also considered in the context of moves to ensure that science education can continue, albeit via hybrid models of learning as opposed to traditional pedagogical approaches which have remained little altered over the last century.
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“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change…” Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

The justification of pedagogy in the context of Extended Reality (XR), which encompasses Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR), has become an ongoing source of complex ambiguity over the last decade, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated (van der Niet and Bleakley, 2021). Ensuring the validity and reliability of XR experiences within science education remains central to the potential to rule out technologies as adjuncts to optimal pedagogic practice as an authentic means of providing insight and illumination of scientific contexts, scenarios and processes (McGrath et al., 2018). For the purposes of this chapter there will be four fundamental operationally definitive terms of what the umbrella term XR encompasses. Firstly VR refers to the use of computer technology in the creation of simulated learning environments. Secondly, AR pertains to the addition of computerised content as an overlay to reality, which means that learners can actively interact both with real world and augmentations of it at the same time. Mixed or hybrid reality refers to the transection of virtual worlds and actual worlds, where physical and computerised objects can interact and exist concurrently. XR encompasses all of these and as a collective group they have revolutionised science and technological training, particularly in relation to the practise of risk management and professional role identity in life and death medical situations such as obstetric emergencies, as reported by Hayes, Hinshaw and Petrie (2018).

Training for the strategic management of risk in science-based healthcare practice in situated contexts of healthcare provision has been a key focus in the use of XR in practice (Hilty et al, 2020). Not only does it involve rational aspects of cognitive knowledge or the absolute adherence to demonstration of psychomotor skills and affective domain learning (Zulkilfli, 2019). It also encompasses the intuitive, tacit and largely intangible intellectual instincts that develop with sustained experiential learning (Humpherys, Bakir and Babb, 2021). One of the key issues has been the challenge of pedagogical approaches in practice. XR has enabled the benchmarking of perceived levels of interprofessional and multidisciplinary teamwork, where intuitive knowledge can be used to measure risk, regardless of the level of the organisational hierarchy within which personnel are employed (Goh and Sandars, 2020; Hayes, Hinshaw and Petrie, 2018). This chapter explores key epistemological perspectives that can be used to ensure the level of authenticity required to highlight the pedagogical shifts in the application of learning theory that now characterise responsive scientific curriculum design and adaptation to accommodate XR in practice.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Extended Reality (XR): Is the term given to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions, which are essentially digitally generated by technology and wearable accessories.

Virtual Reality (VR): Is the digitally generated simulation of a 3-D image or situated context or learning environment, within which a learner can be placed and with which they can interact by wearing electronic accessories such as eye goggles or gloves with sensors.

Augmented Reality (AR): Is a technology capable of superimposing or overlaying a computer-generated image across a visual projection of the real world, providing a composite view of the two.

Mixed Reality (MR): Is the merging of virtual and actual reality to provide new mechanisms for visualising given scenarios. The physical objects and digital objects can interact with each other in real time.

Immersion Technology: Is the digital equipment which provides the perception of being present in a created and non-physical world.

Hyflex Curriculum: Is an adaptation of hybrid learning where each class session and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. With this approach learners make the decision of how they will participate with the learning opportunities afforded to them.

Simulation: Is the integrated use of a computer model, which imitates reality in the context of study, where risk can be eliminated as part of initial scaffolded learning.

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