A teaching tool for high school students that can optimise the way of learning a foreign language. This is approached through a virtual reality learning environment (VRLE) which is defined as the user (in this case the students) having an extent of interaction engagement within the “real” (virtual) world. The hybrid concept, ‘260 Tales’, includes interactive choices and cinematic 260-degree film stories with additional gamification elements. Prototype is based on the German language.
According to the creative team: “Our project is about language learning in VR. During the experience you can be a 16-year-old German teenager who is experiencing everyday situations: hanging out with friends, drinking beer, making a pass on a girl. All people talk to you in German and you have to construct grammatically correct German sentences. You have the possibility of constructing two unique sentences that get you in the story in one place or another. The Danish school system is having a hard time keeping students in the German language classes. We thought, what could get people back into the classroom, actually wanting to learn German. Our VR project is placing them in a complete German environment, like being an exchange student.“
Team (from MANND in collaboration with Kanda)
- Maria Herhold Engermann, Founder and VR experience designer
- Signe Undermand, Founder and VR technical producer
‘260 Tales’ is MANND’s newest project and first initiative within the educational sector. Combining cinematic VR, teaching elements and storytelling, this prototype strives towards teaching high school students a second language in an enriching new way. By placing the students within a story in a foreign country as the protagonist with the opportunity to interact with the storyline, we aspire the students to work around language in a compelling format. This prototype will be used a beta test in order to research the extent that VR can have on language learning. The project is funded by Interactive Denmark, Cross Motion and Filmby Aarhus.
Development of the prototype took approximately two months. 2 x Samsung 360 cameras, Autopano Video & Giga and Adobe’s programs were used for the films. Game engine Unity was used to create the interactive elements. The prototype was on test-trail at a school where approximately 60 students tried the VR language tool. It was well received and the students provided many ideas how to develop the prototype. Consequently an offer was made by Aalborg commune to test the prototype in various schools in Nothern Jytland to help the team to apply for a larger funding to go further with the project. The team came to a decision not to continue working with educational projects and will not develop “260 Tales” further.