Integrating and Assessing the Use of a “Makerspace” in a Russian Cultural Studies Course
Utilizing Immersive Virtual Reality and 3D Printing for Project-Based Learning
Keywords:immersive virtual reality, Makerspace, project-based learning, computer-assisted language learning
This article discusses the development of an immersive virtual reality (VR)- infused Makerspace for experiential learning. Students in an advanced-level Russian course used a Makerspace to complete a three-part project aimed at language and cultural learning through art and presentational speaking. Participants completed a survey about their experience at the end of the project, thus providing some data by which to assess its success. Students used Oculus Rift headsets to view 360-degree target-culture images and engaged in a handson sculpting activity that resulted in printing 3D models. Learners also used iPads for a painting activity, which was then compared with the VR sculpting task. The survey results showed that the Makerspace, and using VR in particular, was a success. Positive outcomes included facilitating task motivation, fostering speaking and artistic creativity, enabling deeper learning and focus on the task, assisting with cultural development, and enjoying learning by doing/making. Suggestions for future Makerspace projects in language labs are discussed.
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