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OXREF: Open Extended Reality for Education Framework

Authors:

Abstract

Purpose – Extended Reality (XR) has gained traction as the next evolutionary step in teaching and learning accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasingly, many governments and institutions around the world are making major investments in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies preparing education systems for the future. However, many of these investments remain isolated pilot projects which tease at what the potential future of education could be, but unlikely due to scalability and sustainability. This paper introduces the Open Extended Reality for Education Framework (OXREF), which is a conceptual framework proposing a holistic solution to XR object creation, implementation and deployment covering pedagogical, technical and administrative perspectives. The novelty of this framework is the ability to build immersive XR projects in a scalable and sustainable manner promoting openness, accessibility, equity, reuse and collaboration by harnessing the full potential of OER and free and open-source software (FOSS) while utilizing cloud-based infrastructure for large-scale distribution and outreach. Design/methodology/approach – The OXREF conceptual framework is formulated based on extensive review of literature and case studies strengthened by the author’s personal experience as a technology expert, researcher, practitioner and senior administrator in the higher education sector. Findings – Based on literature and empirical evidence, it has been identified that (a) the lack of content, tools and skills; (b) the lack of sound pedagogy and instructional design; and (c) sustainability to be major barriers to the wider adoption of XR in education. The OXREF framework is proposed as a scalable and sustainable solution to mainstreaming XR in education. The OXREF addresses the three major barriers identified at three distinct levels: Level 1 – creation of the XR environments; Level 2 – pedagogical and instructional design input; and Level 3 – sustainability through open educational practices (OEP) including open access and OER. Originality/value/implications – The contribution of the OXREF framework is a wholistic approach to XR mainstreaming in education starting with the creation of objects following OEP, deployment using the latest cloud-based technologies and FOSS and policy creation for scalability and sustainability.
OXREF: Open Extended Reality For Education Framework
Supporting the design, development, and delivery of
fully-online credit and non-credit courses
Ishan Abeywardena, PhD
Associate Director, Systems
Iabeywardena.com/ishantalksvr
linkedin.com/in/ishansa | iabeywar@uwaterloo.ca
July 5, 2021
OXREF
Problem
Extended Reality (XR) is the next evolutionary step in
teaching and learning.
Many governments and institutions making major
investments in VR and AR preparing education
systems for the future.
Many of these investments remain isolated pilot
projects which tease at what the potential future of
education could be, but unlikely due to scalability
and sustainability.
Proposed Solution
OXREF conceptual holistic framework for XR object
creation, implementation and deployment covering
pedagogical, technical and administrative perspectives.
Addresses the three major barriers identified at three
distinct levels:
Level 1 – creation of the XR environments;
Level 2 – pedagogical and instructional design input;
Level 3 – sustainability through OEP including open access
and OER.
OXERF enables XR mainstreaming in education
through creation of objects following OEP, deployment
using the latest cloud-based technologies/FOSS and
policy creation for scalability and sustainability.
XR Mainstreaming in Education
OXREF: Open Extended Reality For Education Framework
XR Object Creation
OXREF: Open Extended Reality For Education Framework
XR Object Deployment
OXREF: Open Extended Reality For Education Framework
XR Object Policy
OXREF: Open Extended Reality For Education Framework
Next Steps
Projectizing OXREF for
implementation
Defining inputs, outputs, outcomes and
impact
Pilot project for preliminary data
gathering
Identifying long-term scalability and
sustainability factors
All feedback will be much appreciated
iabeywar@uwaterloo.ca | linkedin.com/in/ishansa
OXREF: Open Extended Reality For Education Framework
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