Developing Virtual Reality Modules Aimed to Enhance Social Work Students’ Skills and Reinforce Knowledge

Nicholas Lanzieri, Henry S. Samelson, Jonathan Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The use of virtual simulations has steadily increased within the social work master’s level curriculum and its benefits have been noted in varied research studies. This paper aims to describe the development of two virtual simulations that are innovative, educational, and responsive to the needs of social work skill development and knowledge reinforcement. The first module is a 360 virtual reality (VR) tool that allows social work students to navigate areas of the Lower East Side of New York City. The second module allows social work students to conduct a home visit and assess a virtual client within an immersive 3D VR environment utilizing a framework built on top of a commercial game engine. Each simulation is individually described and the processes taken to create the scripts, assets, and framework are detailed. Their pedagogical value to social work is noted and next steps in VR development, assessment and research are outlined and discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 20 2020

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