These resources – A web page “Short Guide 8: Reimagining Practicals” and article “The Use of Virtual Reality in the Teaching of Challenging Concepts in Virology, Cell Culture and Molecular Biology” (link below) – come from the initiative: Enhanced Active Learning in Virology, cell culture and molecular bio Technology (ELEVATE).
The ELEVATE initiative brought together disciplinary experts from the School of Microbiology, the School of Computer Science and IT, and the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) at University College Cork. This initiative was built on a strong pedagogical foundation and it was guided by a vision to create and explore experiential and immersive learning approaches to teaching and learning, in partnership with students. In addition to co-creating innovative bespoke virtual simulations in Virology and Molecular/Cellular Biology, the team also applied active learning approaches to the study of abstract molecular concepts.
The successful development of bespoke virtual simulations was a significant breakthrough for the ELEVATE initiative and it provides a roadmap for future initiatives to follow. Multilingual realisation of abstract challenging concepts has been made possible and the knowledge gained through this experience will be shared openly with colleagues. It is important to note that while the technology underpinning virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) has advanced at pace, knowledge around the integration of virtual simulations into teaching and learning practice remains scarce, particularly in the areas of virology and molecular/cellular biology. Dissemination through the ELEVATE initiative will therefore provide leading guidance to disciplinary and non-disciplinary experts.