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Part 2:

Basic Art & Design Teaching and Learning

Online Pedagogy

How does VR fit with Current Teaching Practice?

In this ACCELERATE project, we’re examining HOW VR might fit with our current Art, Design and Media teaching practice. We’re also examining how VR and/or online learning might help students with various accessibility issues.

First, we’ll look at VR and our ‘traditional’ Art, Design and Media teaching practice

David discusses how traditional Art and Design studio learning is residential, space hungry, highly personalised, messy and often chaotic.

David considers how Art, Design and Media graduates frequently replicate the studio model as their personal professional space and how this traditional Art Design and Media studio learning model is under threat because of cost and institutional rationalisations.

David discusses challenging students’ creativity within VR learning spaces: Having brought our Art Design and Media students into the VR space, how can we challenge their creativity, risk taking and mistake making?

Julian speaks about traditional studio practice in Art, Design and Media learning.

UAL’s Darryl on learning Art and Design basics in a non-studio environment. Research, development and realisation as the essential stages of any creative process.

UAL’s Matthew describes how students learned to manage their own learning through the covid experience. Allowing students to design their own online learning spaces is desirable, as is being proactive and not hiding within those ‘comfortable’ online spaces.

When proposing to construct VR learning spaces for our Art, Design and Media students, we need to consider some broader challenges with online learning.

David discusses how online classes can tend to be over-planned and stuffed with content, featuring few silences or reflective learning spaces for students. There are few ways for students to speak quietly with a lecturer and there are potential issues with critical incidents, such as when a student gets upset.

IADT’s Aoife discusses VR and creativity – VR is almost exclusively a visual medium, whereas creative practice often relies on other sensory feedback.

David considers how lecturers must never make assumptions about students’ abilities to connect with online classes. Students may not have access to adequate wifi, broadband or adequate digital devices.

Advantages of Online Learning

Online learning does offer some real advantages over in-person, face to face learning.


UAL’s Emerging Technologies Manager Chris describes how learning spaces can be rethought through VR, with direct collaborative contributions from our students.

David on the many advantages of online learning: recorded online classes can become wonderful asynchronous learning resources, which students can access at a time of their choosing. Students can also watch sections of online classes repeatedly.

When proposing to use VR spaces as part of our Art, Design and Media teaching and learning, we should consider these initial questions…

Are we using VR as an actual classroom?

    • Are we proposing to bring students into the VR space to conduct a more conventional class, workshop or lecture?

Are we online in VR or on campus (and in VR)?

    • Is our VR class to be conducted online, or on-campus (in a classroom, lab or studio space)? Or are we proposing both on campus and online (a hybrid delivery)?

Are we using VR space as an ASYNCHRONOUS learning space or as an OER (Open Educational Resource) for students?

    • Are we proposing that students will visit our VR learning space in their own time (outside of timetabled classes) to access the learning materials we’ve placed in the VR space?

Or are we doing all of the above?

WHY are we using VR?

What is the learning benefit for our students?

What can VR do that we CAN’T do in the ‘real’ classroom?


Julian speaks about replicating real world teaching spaces in VR – a technical challenge, but something which may help students to transition more easily into a VR learning environment.

Matt describes some approaches to assist students to design and construct their own VR learning space. Giving students the skills to create assets, 2D and 3D is essential. Using a Skybox allows a soft start’ into the creation of the VR collage.