While the mention of virtual reality (VR) conjures up thoughts of immersive entertainment for most, for the second-year Taxation students in UP’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
, it is another example of an exciting learning opportunity presented by technology.
According to Prof Hanneke du Preez, Associate Professor in the Department of Taxation
, the use of interactive computer-generated visuals during lectures was first introduced in the second-year Taxation module during February 2019. Students worked in groups and used VR goggles supplied by the lecturers, as well as one of the group member’s cell phones to ‘visit’ Parliament in Cape Town through VR. “The footage showed the various buildings and rooms in Parliament and we also added extra information in the form of text boxes to give students more information about Parliament,” she says.
She explains that VR has proven to be an excellent educational tool, as students are given the ability to virtually see and experience real-life situations. This allows them to understand concepts in a deeper manner without leaving the classroom. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction from the students has confirmed that this is a step in the right direction for blended learning in class rooms. Many of our students have asked that VR activities be repeated more frequently in class.”
With over 900 students currently registered for the module, the challenge has been the fact that some of them do not have VR-compatible phones. “The majority of our students – especially underprivileged students – will never have the opportunity to visit Parliament or other business premises. We would like to include every student in this learning opportunity and therefore need additional phones in the classroom.”
Prof Du Preez says that there are more VR experiences planned for the students during this year, including visiting a manufacturing plant and other business premises. The lecturing team is appealing to the UP community to donate any VR-compatible cell phones that might assist in making this technology accessible to all students.
All iPhones are VR compatible.
For Androids devices you can check whether the cell phone is VR compatible by downloading a small application from Play Store (EZE VR). The Taxation lecturing team can check the compatibility on the donor’s behalf where necessary.
Drop off points:
Taxation OneStop office (EMS 4-25) between 09:00 and 15:00, or contact the people below to arrange for your donation to be collected from your office.
For more information, please contact: