Virtual Reality and Autism Part 2: Instructional Design Phase

You can find Part 1 of this series HERE.  We have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes and are ready to move into the next phase.  Three groups have been created, each with a different focus and goal.   Group 1 is made up of several of our social workers.  They will be focusing on play and social skills, creating a virtual reality experience aligned with these goals.  Group 2 is at the high school level and will be focusing on community outings, transitions, social interaction, and related items.  Group 3 is at the young adult and beyond level and will have a similar focus as Group 2, but with a greater focus on employment skills.   We are also excited that Puzzles Bakery will be part of this too.  Puzzles Bakery is a local bakery that employs individuals with autism and developmental disabilities.  Their recipe for success is 2-fold (from website): they seek to welcome and include individuals and families affected by special needs into the community, and in turn, hope to nurture compassion and understanding by exposing our community to individuals with disabilities.  You can read all about Puzzles Bakery HERE.

Each group (with the exception of 3 as we have to meet still) will now complete task analyses that are aligned to the desired tasks and outcomes.   Here is a sample from one VR project already created.   After this step is complete, we will move into designing the script and embedded assessments for the objectives/tasks that we choose. 

You can learn more about the design phase from one of Jaclyn’s previous projects HERE, under Instructional Design.

Each of these steps is a lengthy process and substantially important as we move ahead to think about what production of the VR experiences will look like. 

As we move along, I will share what we come up with.  We are excited about the partnership with Jaclyn and Barbara from Acclimate VR, and look forward to how this continues to progress, ultimately having a positive impact on the students we will be working with.

Thank you for all of your support and interest so far along the way.  We are excited to take existing technology, add to it, and apply it to something that will change lives.   We are excited to expose students to new things that will have lasting benefits.  In the words of Temple Grandin:

We hope in some small way, we are doing that.

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