Storytelling school

ASU uses Hollywood storytelling to enhance learning

TEMPE, AZ — For months, Arizona State University has been using new virtual reality labs where students walk in, put on a headset, and jump into a world designed by a filmmaker.

Dreamscape Learn was created in partnership with Hollywood producer Walter Parkes, known for his work on Men in Black and Gladiator.

“We kind of bring entertainment and education together, we called it edutainment,” said Lisa Flesher, head of Realm 4 Project Accelerator.

“We try to stay away from that, but I think you’re right – there’s a great entertainment and narrative storytelling aspect to this that isn’t usually always seen in education,” said- she declared.

Instead of sitting in class, students can cover the same topics in a virtual world.

Teachers and students told ABC15 they liked the changes.

“It’s really exciting because as a teacher it allows you to rethink the way you teach and with virtual reality we can put students in situations, taking them to places they couldn’t go to a classroom,” said Michael Angiletta, associate principal. of the learning initiative.

ASU student Dallas Repier shared the same sentiment.

“This one, even though it’s a bit slower, I think it helps me a lot,” he said.

“It clarifies things, it’s very clear. Much more pleasant. You don’t fear it,” added Repier.

School officials said they are still waiting to see what impact virtual reality will have on grades.

However, students fill out surveys asking if they like learning this way and most say they do.

Currently, the technology is only used by biology classes, but the school said it plans to expand it to other programs and majors in the near future.