Immersive Technologies: Transforming Education in the Digital Age (en)coding Heritage Seminar Series

woman wearing VR headseat against orange background

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The (en)coding Heritage Seminar Series brings together researchers who are working at the cutting edge of digital technologies, humanities and heritage science. The second session in the series is devoted to the use of immersive technology in education.




Fridolin Wild, Open University

Augmenting human performance at scale

Why settle for inadequate instruction if you can learn complicated tasks from experts in a field? Wearable Enhanced Learning with e-textiles and eXtended Reality (XR) enable an individual to see the world through the eyes of experts, step into their shoes, hear their guidance, or hold their hands. In this talk, Prof. Wild speaks about how XR can be employed to rapidly advance from novice to mastery in a number of fields.


Abbey Palmer, Anant Jani, Stuart Cole, Angela Jacob Bermudo, Michelle Johnson, Richard Smith, and Mattia Montanari, University of Oxford

Envisioning the Future of Literature Learning: A Feasibility Study Exploring the Use of Virtual Reality to Help Students Better Understand Literature

This talk introduces a study, conducted by the Oxford X-Reality Hub and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), which explores the use of scalable immersive technologies to improve educational attainment for children in care. These children are normally disproportionately affected when studies are interrupted and quality of education decreases. Researchers, in collaboration with OCC’s Virtual School, identified English literature, as the most difficult subject for this cohort as they often lack the cultural capital needed to engage with the literature. The study investigated whether virtual reality (VR) could help improve learning outcomes for children in care by designing a fully immersive VR app based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. The results suggest VR is a potential scalable pedagogical modality for helping students achieve learning outcomes for English literature.


Terje Pedersen and Sigrid Sjåstad, Rothaugen Middle School, Bergen, Norway

VR Immersion in the Middle School Classroom

In this talk, two Norwegian middle school teachers will be describing their integration of virtual reality (VR) games and experiences in the classroom to teach English, History and Social Science. They will detail how this technology has been used to connect students with peers from across the globe and to introduce them to Black Lives Matter activists in different virtual worlds. The talk will conclude with the long-term vision of using Virtual Reality to assist students who are struggling with mental health or with school attendance.


This session is organised by the (en)coding Heritage Network in collaboration with Leonardo Impett, Durham University, and the University of Oxford’s X-Reality Hub. For questions, please email

(en)coding Heritage Network, TORCH Networks