Dr. Ian Weber

Dr. Ian Weber


Dr Ian Weber is an internationally recognised Australian scholar in the fields of communication, sociology and technology. His current research focus is Virtual Reality production and pedagogy. Dr Weber has published extensively in international journal and book publications.


Researching Virtual Reality Education: Assessment, Challenges, and Ways Forward to a Brave New Digital World Keynote Speech

Research into virtual reality multimedia confirms the importance and effectiveness of visual features in teaching and learning contexts. It has been demonstrated that virtual reality can provide an effective environment that meets students’ learning style preferences (visual, aural, text, and kinaesthetic). However, several considerations need to be explored before introducing such systems into the learning environment. The first consideration is developing an understanding of how the specific characteristics of immersion flow, telepresence, and interactivity are related to the student user's experience. The second consideration is creating a multi-perspectival conceptual map of education with and in VR learning environments (see Figure 1). Engaging with these considerations enables educators to understand better how to develop appropriate formative and summative assessments for virtual education environments.

The keynote presentation will address the following five critical research questions in the context of virtual reality assessment tools:
1. What are the strengths and limitations of conventional assessment types in understanding learning?
2. What is the relationship between learning and virtual reality, 360 videos, augmented reality?
3. How can virtual reality be used to develop novel, engaging, and authentic formative and summative assessments?
4. What challenges exist in implementing formative and summative assessment in Virtual Reality learning environments?
5. How can educators strategically use Virtual Reality characteristics of immersive-ness, interactivity, and telepresence to create student peer and self-assessment tools in future VR learning environments?