UNR to Initiate Virtual Reality Research in Online Classes Led by Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoei


Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoei uses 3D VR for online classes to address lack of physical space in online teaching.

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(Spin Digit Editorial):- Reno, Nov 3, 2020 (Issuewire.com) – Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoei, Associate Professor of Information Systems at the University of Nevada is planning a research project with UNR to examine the effectiveness of virtual reality systems to address the shortfall for online classrooms which are believed to be due to the lack of physical environments shared by students. In learner-based approaches promoted recently by education institutes, not having a space to share makes online classes not as engaging as they should be. 

While COVID-19 has affected countries at different rates, more than 1 billion children in 186 countries are impacted by school closures due to the quarantine. Also, universities have adopted online education as an alternative to campus classrooms. Even prior to the pandemic, online education had already high growth. In particular, educational technologies had claimed a considerable portion of the education market. With the sudden shift from face-to-face education to online learning, many would ask if online classes are as effective as in campus teaching. One of the most serious worries for online education is the ability of educators to engage students. “Would online classrooms be as effective as face-to-face to enable students-material interactions?” Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoei says. He also adds, “Would online students be collaborative as in campus students when they can see each other and share a physical place?” 

Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoei believes virtual reality provided promising opportunities to address the challenges to engage students with online classrooms during COVID-19 quarantine. Virtual reality and in particular 3D virtual reality systems can improve the collaboration among students and engage them with the online course materials. The 3D virtual environment effectively connects with the students’ advantage and prompts wealthier communication among them. This in turn results in a larger amount of student engagement in the community-oriented learning procedure. 

Flexibility in time and location for conducting the assessment task in online classes is very much preferred by students who enjoy the opportunity of working with group members from their convenient location and at a convenient time. However, Visual peer-support is important in such settings. Students appreciate visual support from group members for conducting the assessment task. Visual peer-support is especially helpful for students who needed some assistance in understanding lecture material and the case study. Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoei adds “Students like the chance to talk to their group members about the teaching material.” This can be addressed by running online classes on 3D virtual reality systems where students can share their visuals.

Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoei is an associate professor of information systems at the Ansari College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).and a respected professional in the field of analytics and data-mining techniques. He worked extensively in healthcare areas such as disease modeling, disease prediction, and occupational safety. He also analyses data in the investigation of engineering issues related to mining, road construction, and wildfire management. To further explore how artificial intelligence can inform healthcare solutions, Dr. Talaei-Khoei recently co-founded Medical AI Systems. For more information about his career and latest works, visit https://www.crunchbase.com/person/amir-talaei-khoei.

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