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Who needs experts? Students designing a Synthetic Learning Environment of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

, , , , Future University Hakodate, Japan

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Washington, DC ISBN 978-1-939797-29-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


The paper is a description of the continuing research into the efficacy of a Synthetic Learning Environment (SLE) to support more engaged academic practice and transformative learning in Higher Education. Students have designed, programmed and created an immersive 3D virtual Fukushima nuclear power plant. The environment replicates the real-world Fukushima reactors just prior to the disaster of March 2011, and is viewable using the Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display (HMD). It is anticipated that such user-accessible simulations with young students and elder citizens controlling a virtual robot will create an awareness and understanding of disaster recovery, and not simply rely upon retrospective information from unprepared experts. The primary research aim is to capture data of cognitive processes for later analysis. The pedagogic rationale is to amalgamate the Synthetic Learning Environment for real-world collaborations such as simulating robot navigation within restricted areas.


Vallance, M., Kurashige, Y., Sasaki, T. & Magaki, T. (2017). Who needs experts? Students designing a Synthetic Learning Environment of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia 2017 (pp. 1223-1228). Washington, DC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 17, 2018 from .

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