Explaining information to someone else in learning situations can help with learning new material (learning through teaching method). Here, we want to link the use of virtual reality (VR) with the learning through teaching method.
This joint project of UniDistance Suisse and the University of Bern investigates learning through social interaction in educational virtual environments. Previous research showed that learning through teaching is important because it allows for structuring the material to be taught, taking responsibility and reflecting on the teaching strategies. Virtual reality supports the creation of three-dimensional interactive environments, and thus, immersion has a high potential for education. The aim of this project is to investigate with controlled designs the educational outcome of teaching a student-avatar (learning through teaching). The goal of this research is to promote learning. We think that teaching a student-avatar may be a fine addition to the existing tools in distance learning universities. The advantage of a virtual student is the high degree of realism and constant availability.