Virtual immersive tools for learning


Research engagement through virtual immersive tools for learning

Project summary

The Challenge

Learning with virtual 3D models is gaining momentum but challenges are also emerging relating to usability within existing classroom procedures.

The Approach

REVISIT explored how immersive 3D heritage models might be used to deliver innovative teaching and learning materials within schools.

The Outcome

The project allowed teachers and children to build their own interactive tours of a 3D historical scene and attach their own learning materials.

Lead academics

Funded by

Project partners

The Challenge

Virtual environments and 3D models have been used across various areas and levels of education since the 1990s. Potential learning benefits are associated with the possibility to explore, manipulate and construct virtual objects as well as creative interactions through active participation. This can create opportunities for rich learner engagement and can lead to digital forms of cultural co-production.

As learning in virtual 3D models and environments gains momentum an array of challenges are also emerging in relation to their usability and fit within existing classroom procedures. Challenges include the availability and cost of relevant infrastructure, hardware and internet connectivity and the pedagogical skills needed for creating relevant and meaningful tasks in virtual worlds.

The REVISIT project explored how immersive 3D models generated within heritage and research contexts can be used to deliver innovative teaching and learning materials for use in schools.

“They love the fact that they get to do a different activity, they are not sat in front of an interactive whiteboard, in front of a textbook and they are not being bored silly in a standard lesson. They like the freedom and it builds their maturity and it builds their teamwork which is fantastic.” (Andrew, HS ICT teacher)

The Approach

REVISIT explored how a legacy 3D model of the 1938 British Empire Exhibition and its associated digital archive was used to support teaching and learning activities across different subject areas by teachers and students in primary and secondary schools.

We used a multiple case-study approach to gain insight into participants’ experiences when using the virtual 3D model in the classroom. Qualitative data was collected from one primary and two secondary schools in the UK between February and December 2016. Data collection involved conducting class observations, semi-structured interviews with teachers and head teachers, and focus group interviews with students.

Virtual immersive tools for learning
Virtual immersive tools for learning


Stuart Jeffrey, Daisy Abbott, Kevin Burden, Anastasia Gouseti, Mhairi Maxwell at:

The REVISIT project: legacy heritage visualisations and educational potential, Evaluating Digital Cultural Resources 2016 (EDCR2016)

 Kevin Burden, Anastasia Gouseti, Stuart Jeffrey, Daisy Abbott, Mhairi Maxwell at:

The potential of virtual 3D models in primary and secondary school settings: The case of the 1938 British Empire Exhibition model, 9th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI2016), Seville, 14th-16th November, 2016.

The Impact

The three schools that were involved in the project engaged with the 3D model and co-produced a collection of 3D narratives, which explored different subjects via different aspects of the exhibition. Approaches varied within and across age groups and subject interests.

Examples included investigations of a very specific subject (such as coal) using just one building within the exhibition model; linking up a series of buildings on a particular subject (e.g. pavilions from Commonwealth countries); using numerical data from vintage radio broadcasts in maths exercises; and adding original photographs comparing how Bellahouston Park looked then and how it looks now.

Further results can be found here 

Co-created narratives plus other Open Education Resources here: