Although large strides have been made to reduce the gap between those that can access digital technologies and those that cannot, accessibility and digital poverty are still issues that distance learning providers need to consider when designing and implementing their courses. Digital poverty prevents students to attend and participate in online lectures and activities, excluding them from online education.
As virtual reality (VR) matures as a medium, interest rises regarding its potential and adoption as a platform for remote teaching and learning. However, even digitally rich students that have regular and consistent access to digital resources may still be unable to access VR equipment as the vision of having a VR headset in every home is yet to be fulfilled.
To complicate the landscape, despite the reduction in VR sickness incidence brought forth by the latest generation of hardware and better understanding on how to mitigate VR sickness via software, some sensitive students are unable to use VR headsets without feeling ill.
Although accessibility and digital poverty are barriers that need to be considered when designing and implementing distance learning or blended teaching, they are not necessarily unsurmountable. In this talk, a tiered approach to mitigate problems related to accessibility and digital poverty will be discussed regarding the adoption of VR as a medium for delivering remote synchronous teaching.