The training of classroom leadership skills is often accompanied by high organisational effort and ethical concerns for pupils and student teachers. For this reason, the chairs "Complex Multimedia Application Architectures" and "Educational Research" of the University of Potsdam have cooperated to create a virtual training environment that addresses this problem. Here, student teachers often take on the role of a teacher for the first time and stand in front of up to 30 virtual students in a realistic classroom. The VR classroom follows a peer training approach:
The virtual students can be controlled via a web interface by a peer or the lecturer. This provides personal support in a safe environment for the teacher students under head mounted displays. The fellow students and lecturers themselves have an insight into the perception of the student teachers and can give feedback on concrete situations, provide video recordings for reflection and create specific exercise situations.
The application was developed for advanced students of teaching and can be entered with any standard, PC-bound head mounted displays. The VR classroom has been in regular use since the winter semester 2018/19. It offers theory and training platform for class management skills, as well as practice opportunities for dealing with emotionally stressful situations and stress in the classroom. We also cooperate with other teacher training universities. The highly immersive medium of head mounted displays thus expands the repertoire of aids in teacher training.
At the digital Potsdam Science Days 2021, the VR Classroom was presented in a special exhibition in the DIGAREC Gallery 2.0. This was implemented via Mozilla Hubs and is accessible here via the browser.
29.01.2020 At the delina awards ceremony, the virtual classroom of the University of Potsdam won second place in the category "university".
To get access to a recent version of the software please contact Axel Wiepke.