The developments in computer technology have seen the emergence of virtual reality environments as learning tools in specialized fields of education supported in these endeavours by the demands of higher education institutions for globally accessible, marketable courses. The teaching of fire investigation (cause and origin determination) through Charles Sturt University with an intrinsic need to provide students with authentic learning experiences became an ideal candidate for the embedding of virtual reality environments in the learning materials. This study evaluates the impact of delivering fire investigation studies utilizing a 'reusable learning object' in the form of a CDROM with embedded virtual fire scene scenarios. The learning outcomes of four student cohorts are studied and quantitative and qualitative data collected which provides an evaluation of the students' learning experience. Preliminary evaluation of the impact of learning fire investigation skills via the online and virtual environment indicates support for this mode of learning delivery. Unique characteristics of the virtual environment in fire investigation studies are identified as providing a distinct advantage over the use of real time fire scenes for subject assessment purposes. These findings show that the use of 'reusable learning objects' in investigation studies shows promise in providing authentic learning experiences and providing foundational knowledge and skills transferable to real world situations.
|Place of Publication||Germany|
|Publisher||Lambert Academic Publishing|
|Number of pages||108|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|