Virtual Reality In Astronomy Education: Reflecting On Design Principles

Teaching Methods and Tools
5th Shaw-IAU Workshop
Wednesday Nov. 29, 2023
UTC: 9:40 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Thursday Nov. 30, 2023
UTC: 9:10 p.m. - 9:20 p.m.

Virtual reality (VR) offers transformative possibilities for astronomy education, enhancing visual representation, engagement & hands-on experiences in formal and informal settings. While many studies focus on the learner's view, this study emphasizes the often-neglected perspective of education & public outreach (EPO) professionals. Through focus group interviews & reflective dialogues with EPO experts and scientists from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, we identify design principles for integrating VR into astronomy education. These principles address immersion, visualization, facilitation & collaboration, offering guidance for astronomy educators and deepening our understanding of the new VR learning contexts in astronomy.

About Magdalena Kersting

Magdalena Kersting is an assistant professor of science education at the University of Copenhagen. She has a background in theoretical physics, mathematics, and science communication, and she received the International Astronomical Union PhD Prize for her educational reconstruction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity for secondary school. Her research interests include modern physics education and embodied cognition in science education.