Shortened chapter of Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2019). The Necessary Nine: Design Principles for Embodied VR and Active STEM Education. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-13-8265-9_5
This chapter explores the two profound affordances of VR for learning; namely 1) the sense of presence attendant with immersive VR, and 2) the active learning associated with movement/gestures in a three dimensional virtual world. The chapter highlights several theories supporting embodied education and two examples of mediated STEM lessons which have been designed to maximize active learning. The first example explores the journey of redesign when a 2D tablet game is transformed into a 3D immersive VR lesson. The second example highlights how the new generation of hand controllers in VR can be used with constructivism to scaffold complex topics (chemistry and fireworks). The chapter ends with a set of optimal design principles for immersive VR in STEM education. The most important are called the Necessary Nine.