A virtual way to teach introductory physics

Dominic McGrath, Margaret Wegener, Timothy McIntyre, Craig Savage, Michael Williamson


Much of modern science explores domains outside the experiential world of students. In these situations virtual reality, and carefully constructed accompanying experiences of active exploration, can provide a contextualised experience to develop connected understandings. This paper presents the development of two virtual reality simulations in physics. Real Time Relativity explores Special Relativity and QSim introduces Quantum Physics. We report the successful outcomes of the implementation and development of Real Time Relativity considering students' experiences
and learning. Evidence is presented as to the effectiveness in the teaching context, with students engaging with the material, demonstrating improved learning outcomes and wanting to experience more science and simulations.

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