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Abstract

With the rapid advances in technology, virtual reality(VR) re-emerged as an affordable technology providing new potentials for virtual learning environments(VLE). Within the scope of this study, firstly a general perspective on potentials of VR to create an appropriate VLE is put forward regarding the potentials related with learning modalities. Then, VR as a VLE in architectural education is discussed and utilization of VR is revisited considering the fundamentals of education as how to enhance skills regarding creativity, furnish students to adopt future skills and how VR can be used to enhance design understanding as well as space perception and spatial relations. It is deliberated that instead of mirroring the real spaces, allowing students to understand the virtuality with its own constituents will broaden the understanding of space, spatial relations, scale, motion, and time both in physical and virtual. The dichotomy between physical and virtual materiality, the potentials and pitfalls in the process of transformation from real/physical to virtual-virtual to real/physical are discussed in relation with the student projects designed in the scope of Digital Design Studio course in Middle East Technical University. It is also shown that VR stimulates different learning modalities especially kinesthetic modality and helping students to develop creativity and metacognition about space and spatial relations.
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... Since the early developments on hardware and software, the use of VR tools have evolved from basic operations to advance solutions for the creation of virtual environments, which include components of 3D models, dynamic real-time renderings, closedloop interactions, and even enhanced sensory feedback (Wickens, 1992;Kalay, 2004;Schnabel, 2009;Sorguç et al., 2017). Further, design educators accommodate novelties of VR for reinforcing teaching methods that aim for developing cognitive abilities (Tokman and Yamacli, 2007;Schnabel and Howe, 2010;Gül and Simisic, 2014;Shih et al., 2017). ...
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