Experiential learning through Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR): Virtual fieldtrip experiences to complement sustainability and environmental education.

Project Team

  • Vikas Menghwani, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science


  • Teaching Resources



About the Project

This project integrates Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) into sustainability education through virtual field trips in collaboration with UBC Okanagan’s Constellation spaces. Unlike traditional desktop VR or PowerPoints, Constellation’s IVR tools offer deep immersion and interactivity, offering enriched experiential learning opportunities. The project aims to create two modules showcasing 360-degree navigable tours with interactive elements like embedded interviews with site managers or info buttons. One site would be the UBC Vancouver campus’s Bioenergy Research and Development Facility (BRDF), and another potential site would be the Revelstoke Dam. These tours will be mainly filmed using a 3D camera, augmenting the immersive nature of the experience.
The proposed modules are versatile, catering to a broad spectrum of learners, from undergraduates to K-12 students. Tailored versions will address specific audience needs—for example, an engineering-focused module will delve into bioenergy production technicalities, while a sustainability-focused journey may explore broader topics like biofuel sourcing and lifecycle analysis. Using Constellation’s Curved Wall Display, I aim to facilitate virtual field trips for courses like SUST 300 and EESC 315, accommodating 25 students, offering a practical alternative to physical site visits and fostering improved learning outcomes through interactivity.

Furthermore, transforming these modules into digital exhibits could extend educational reach into local communities, significantly amplifying UBC’s influence. Embedding modules into the Canvas learning management system (LMS) would facilitate universally accessible field trips, beneficial for remote learning scenarios. When experienced with a VR headset, these modules promise to deliver an equally immersive and engaging educational experience.