Virtual Archaeology: Teaching Archaeology Using Virtual Reality And Game-based Learning


This is a paper/report submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Despite the importance of field work in teaching archaeology, field opportunities are available to few students due to logistical, financial, or mobility constraints. To address these challenges, we have created a virtual archaeology undergraduate course that uses game-based learning strategies to convey archaeological concepts and technical skills. We present the initial design and delivery of a virtual archaeology course that uses the HTC VivePro, a room-scale, VR platform, and Unreal Engine 4, an open source gaming engine. Here we demonstrate the virtual learning environment and game design elements used to deliver archaeological information, discuss the pedagogical trade-offs involved in virtual vs. real-world experiences, and explore the expansion of virtual learning into other social and natural sciences. In doing so, we widen access to a field science that is currently limited to select students and foster experimental approaches to education, heritage management, and public outreach.

Cite this Record

Virtual Archaeology: Teaching Archaeology Using Virtual Reality And Game-based Learning. Laura L Shackelford, Emma L Verstraete, Wen-Hao Huang, Cameron Merrill, Alan Craig. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457375)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 593