Christos Kaltsidis, Katerina Kedraka, Maria E. Grigoriou


Laboratory training is the cornerstone of science education in higher education. However, in several cases hands-on experimental procedures are not possible, and therefore technology provide alternative educational methods. One of the rapidly evolving technologies, namely Virtual Reality (VR) can offer multiple benefits in laboratory training through the development of simulations and virtual laboratories that support, facilitate, and promote an effective their learning experience. We present an empirical research carried out at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the Democritus University of Thrace during the winter semester of the academic year 2020-2021. 51 undergraduate students carried out a Virtual Reality activity aiming to train them to the use of a Class II Biosafety Cabinet (BSC) in an immersive virtual environment. Our results show that VR approach was highly and enthusiastically accepted by the students; they reported that they had an authentic learning experience which enabled them to better achieve the learning objectives. However, in some cases symptoms like dizziness and blurry image were reported most likely due to equipment, showing that improvement of the equipment used in VR is needed.

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