Immersive virtual environments as unique learning spaces in museum education
Tanya Freed, Concordia University , Canada
Concordia University . Awarded
Recently there has been a focus on the value and utility of the use of digital technologies in both museums and museum education. Much of this focus has surrounded the use of web-sites and the Internet. However, there is a need to also consider the use of digital technologies on-site within museum walls. Immersive virtual environments are one branch of digital technologies being explored in museums. Therefore their implications for museum education need to be considered, especially in light of the constant change and development of these types of technology. In addition, there needs to be a consideration of possible new approaches to museum education that these technologies allow.
This thesis focuses on an exploration of immersive virtual environments (IVEs) from the perspective of museum education. First, is an exploration of the definitions of IVEs, and a short history of how they developed. Next is an exploration of the defining attributes of IVEs and learning theories that are compatible with and embrace IVEs. Finally, there is a focus on how IVEs offer unique learning spaces in museums and how this relates to meaning making for visitors. This thesis is based on the literature, reviews and original studies of other authors, educators and researchers. What is found is that there are some surprising overlaps in the thus far separate developments of IVEs, museum education and the personal interpretations of museum visitors, which may have significance for further research.
Freed, T. Immersive virtual environments as unique learning spaces in museum education. Master's thesis, Concordia University.
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