Innovation education Virtual reality learning environment Ideation Ideation process Pedagogical model
THORSTEINSSON, G. and DENTON, H.G. 2006. Ideation in a Virtual Learning Environment: a pilot project from Iceland in innovation education. The Design and Technology Association International Research Conference, Telford, July 2006
Innovation Education (IE) is a new subject area in Icelandic schools. The aim is to
train students to identify needs and problems in their environment and to find
solutions: a process of ideation. This activity has been classroom based but now a
specific Virtual Reality Learning Environment technology (VRLE) has been created to
support ideation. This technology supports online communications between students
and teacher and enables them to develop drawings and descriptions of the solutions.
The VRLE is Internet connected and the students work online with their ideas in real
time. As this learning environment is new it is important to evaluate and explore its
use and value in supporting ideation in the context of IE.
The primary author has run a series of pilot studies to identify the pedagogical issues
of using the new VRLE to support ideation within IE. In this paper, he discusses the
background of Innovation Education in Icelandic Education and reports the pilot
The main aim of the pilot studies was to explore the ways in which ideation was
developed in students when using IE materials within the VRLE. The researcher
used the following research questions:
a. What are the pedagogical issues of using the VRLE for ideation in Innovation
b. Which issues influence the ideation process in the VRLE in Innovation
c. How can the teacher effectively manage such issues?
These questions were explored using a range of specific techniques in an action
research mode. Data was gathered from three, triangulated, pilot studies. This was
analysed and used to prepare a new set of research questions and a more
developed exploration using a subsequent series of case studies.