At the beginning of 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world, especially affecting academic institutions and how they teach their students. With all classes moving online and into video call formats college’s quickly saw the struggle students were having learning skills that normally required hands-on teaching methods. Plus for laboratories that were still operational like the one at the college we worked with space and time were limited. Creating an additional resourcing issue for many students.
This ranged from students learning trades skills to emergency services personnel. With no hands-on learning methods these students wouldn’t be prepared for the workplace and could possibly go without teachings integral for being successful in their career.
After speaking with the industry experts and deans from the college and understanding their immediate need to gain hands-on learning material for their forensic identification (FID) post grad students, XpertVR got to work on designing a virtual FID environment. XpertVR decided to go this route as professors indicated that forensic investigation is one of the hardest skills to teach policing students without a hands-on component.
This simulation only has one scenario for students to practice their FID skills but similar to our past forensic identification simulations, we made sure every item in the scene had a purpose and a story to tell. This is true for the environment and the evidence objects we present to students but especially apparent looking at the tools students use. As you can see to the right, students have everything from PPE equipment and police tape to cameras and different types of finger print retrieval tools, at their disposal. This ensures the student is truly immersed in the simulation and that they fully absorb all of the learning outcomes.
On the hardware side of things we built this simulation for the Oculus Quest 2 as it is the most cost effective and portable headset available on the market today. And since the institution we worked with manages a VR lab, teachers can easily book out the equipment for class or students can access it outside of class.
Results & Feedback
As soon as development and testing was complete the virtual FID simulation was made available as a practice tool for FID post grad students. Although the college we worked with would like to stay anonymous for this case study, we can share that they were very pleased with the final product, students have enjoyed using it to practice their skills and we have now moved ahead with 2 more simulations. Plus as a major benefit for the school as it opens back up students now have an additional training setting that is more accessible and sustainable.
With them becoming a continuous partner of ours we look forward to seeing the next innovative idea we work on together. Plus are happy to hear the projects we have already developed are making a positive impact within their institution!