Exploring 360°-videos as Realistic Game-based Learning Environments for Work Placement Preparation
AbstractSerious games in immersive virtual reality (VR) environ- ments promise enhanced experiences and engagement, supporting train- ing and learning. While realistically replicating the visuals of real envi- ronments can be both difficult and time-consuming, there are many po- tential advantages from doing so. In real work placements, students enter facilities with variations in types of equipment, rules for navigation, and workflows, adding cognitive load to a usually stressful situation. Allow- ing them to train and learn in more realistic environments corresponding to their future work placements, with high-fidelity representations, can be time-saving, support core task focus, and help students become more isolated from distractions. This paper presents the VR game 360Phle- botomy, which combines virtual tasks with 360° images and -videos of real laboratories in immersive VR. The game is aimed at helping students become familiar with real workplaces while also learning their work tasks. Current scenarios are tailored to biomedical laboratory science (BLS) ed- ucation, with a focus on the phlebotomy process, which also serves as the main case in this paper. New environments can be added through a modular scene creation system, with the goal of allowing students to pre- pare for different work placements. Insights are provided by presenting the design and development process for a prototype tested by five BLS teachers and six BLS students. The results contribute to an increased understanding of the role of context in training and learning and provide a foundation for future work.