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Evaluation of The OpenScience Lab’s 3D Virtual Skiddaw application

  • Project leader(s): Shailey MinochaTom ArglesSteve Tilling
  • Theme: Technologies for STEM learning
  • Faculty: STEM
  • Status: Archived
  • Dates: October 2014 to October 2019

In this project1, we had the following research objectives towards investigating the pedagogical advantages of virtual field trips and the challenges for their adoption:

  1. Understanding the (potential) role of VFTs in the curriculum in schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) 

We have primarily focussed on Geography, Geology, Environmental Sciences and Biology - disciplines that have a long tradition of physical fieldwork and first-hand experience of phenomena out-of-doors.

  1. Gathering the requirements for a 3D VFT application - based on evaluation of The Open University’s 3D virtual geology fieldtrip – the Virtual Skiddaw application2
  2. Challenges for adoption of 3D VFTs

Towards the research objectives, we investigated the following:

  • pedagogical underpinnings of 3D virtual environments and 3D VFTs in disciplines such as geology, biology, environmental science/studies and geography which are founded on field observations, exploration and enquiry.
  • potential of integrating VFTs within the curricula in schools and in HEIs.
  • perceptions of educators, students and assessment bodies towards 3D VFTs, and virtual fieldwork, in general; we used the Virtual Skiddaw App in workshops and presentations to illustrate the concept of a 3D VFT.

The empirical investigations have been user-centred3– focusing on the stakeholders and particularly, the end-users such as educators, students and fieldwork specialists, and we have interacted with them via interviews, workshops, demonstrations and a survey to elicit their perceptions and requirements. 

1Project outline and video on Daden’s website:  [accessed 14 October 2019]

2Shailey Minocha and Tom Argles - Evaluation of The OpenScience Lab’s 3D Virtual Skiddaw application, video resource, [accessed 14 October 2019]

3Stone, D., Jarrett, C., Woodroffe, M. and Minocha, S. (2005) User Interface Design and Evaluation, Morgan Kaufmann.

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