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Virtual Reality for Small Group Facilitators

Virtual Reality for small group facilitators: understanding the experience of minoritised groups

Co-led by Leda Mirhabani (WMS-HMS) and Dr Kate Owen (WMS- MBChB)

Students have identified additional challenge for minoritised students in small group teaching which is not addressed by facilitators. This student-devised Virtual Reality project will help facilitators understand and develop empathy for students experiences and give them skills to ensure added burden is not placed on these students. This will contribute to the University Strategy of eliminating the awarding gap.

The project aims to use sound pedagogical principles to deliver a virtual reality experiential learning experience for staff which will drive improvement in small group facilitation. This will be directed towards improving the experience of students from minoritized groups, in keeping with the university EDI strategy and contributing to tacking the awarding gap.

There is growing evidence that use of virtual reality can increase empathy. The project uses the WMS VR equipment to produce a series of 360 videos which put facilitators in the place of students within a small group teaching session. This approach is expected to complement the existing Tacking Racial Inequality at Warwick training.

A training package will be developed based on Kolb’s experiential learning theory.

1. Concrete experience: Participants will view the VR videos

2. Reflection: A reflective exercise will follow

3. Abstract conceptualisation: Participants will be asked to identify how they might change their practice. Sessions will include role play.

4. Active experimentation: Participants will be encouraged to put their ideas into action and will be followed up 3 months after the training by questionnaire

For further information on the project, please contact Leda ( or Kate (