VREP Demonstrating Strong, Early Results
VREP is in its initial “scale-up” phase and is actively collecting baseline data with new schools and engaging researchers to help determine the impact VREP makes on students and schools. That said, the early adopters – the “pioneers” – have produced some remarkable results. What follows are brief explanations of results to-date.
|VREP Founding School ImpactThe founding school district, East Marshall High School in LeGrand, Iowa, has been involved with VREP since 2006. In that time, they have reported the following:
On average, VREP students experience a 1-point GPA improvement by graduation and most move up into new class rank.
Although many VREP students were considered “at-risk” of not graduating, many enroll and succeed in AP and Honors courses, participate in STEM-related internships after high school graduation (opportunities usually afforded only to college students), and frequently pursue a STEM-related degrees in college.
Faculty report an increase in participation by female students. Industry partners believe access to high-quality VR learning opportunities in high school improves the student’s qualifications for careers in their industries.
The advanced math teacher has noted significant changes in the interest level, engagement, perseverance, and success levels of those students engaged in VREP and taking his high level math courses.
East Marshall had to add an additional advanced math class in the 2010 – 2011 school year for the 1st time in school history. The principal notes several factors, VREP chief among them.
The school successfully got taken off the “NCLB Watch List” due to improved performance. The principal again notes several factors, chief among them the impact VREP has had on student engagement, interest, and learning.
|ResearchInitial research conducted by Teresa Morales on the impact of VR on students at East Marshall High School in LeGrand, Iowa.
Transformation of Students
“I used to not be very good with grades. Needless to say they have improved. I was a C, D student. I probably would have dropped out… I used to be one of those kids that didn’t care. I didn’t care anything about teaching or anything about the school, but now that I’ve used this technology I can see that there will be great improvements with history and instead of using a text book, you can flip on a screen and say this is what it would look like and instead of seeing a 2-D picture, a whole 3-D thing. Maybe even experience what happened.”
Value of VREP Experience
“I think [VR] helps because being able to see it helps me out a lot better because I can get a mental picture of what it looks like, rather than just the words the teachers say.”
“This [using VR] is kinda jumping me forward [in my classes] because I ask questions of some people that are past physical science.”
“We’re always working together and a lot of people say that’s a valuable skill.”
“Yes, and that comes down to all the stuff with touching, the sensors… [another student] helped with most of this stuff… so it went by pretty quick, with all the properties which I had no clue about until he showed me.”