Introduction to Virtual Reality

Introduction to Virtual Reality is a mini-course that introduces students to the basics of building virtual reality worlds using HTML and the A-Frame JavaScript Library. Through this course, students will build their own virtual reality worlds that are compatible with VR devices, including smartphone VR headsets!

Students can either complete the entire course, or individual lessons in the form of playlists. Each lesson should take a single-hour class period. Work through individual playlists, or take the entire mini-course. The entire course should take about 30 hours.

Format

The entirely web-based curriculum is made up of a series of learning modules that cover the basics of creating virtual reality worlds in A-Frame. Classes can complete the entire mini-course, or individual lessons in the form of playlists. Each lesson should take a single one-hour class period. Every lesson is made up of short video tutorials, example programs, quizzes, programming exercises, challenge problems, and unit tests. Students write and run programs in the browser using the CodeHS editor.

Programming Environment: Students write and run virtual reality programs in the browser using the CodeHS editor. They will use Mozilla’s A-Frame library to build VR experiences in HTML. These experiences will be hosted on the CodeHS website so that they can keep a running portfolio of their creative projects, and easily share their programs with the world.

Who is it for?

This course is meant to be a first time introduction to virtual reality, and does not require students to come in with any programming experience.

This course involves some challenging content with 3D coordinates, so it is more suitable for high school students who have had geometry. Middle school students can complete the earlier playlists, and should continue on to the full course if they feel comfortable.

This mini-course can be taught as a standalone course or alongside one of our other computer science courses.

What do you Learn?

Below is a summary of the material covered in each unit:

Unit Description
Getting Started:This unit introduces students to virtual reality and the A-Frame library. Students will create their first virtual reality world!
Advanced Shapes:In this unit, students are introduced to boxes, cones, and cylinders. Students will also learn where to find out more information about the shapes that A-Frame provides.
Animation:In this unit, students will learn how to add animations to the objects in their VR worlds. They will learn how to program shapes to move, change color, rotate, and disappear.
Interaction:In this unit students will learn how to add interactions so that viewers can interact with objects in virtual reality.
Using 360° Images:In this unit, students will learn to work with 360° images and videos in their VR worlds. Students will learn the steps to add an image from a 360° camera, as well as an image or video sourced online. Students will create their own worlds using 360° images, and will gain practice citing their sources when using images captured by others.
Next Steps:This unit discusses next steps students can take to further explore virtual reality development with a A-Frame. Topics include viewing your creation in a VR device, using the A-Frame documentation and inspector to keep learning, as well as links to more tutorials and training.
Final Project:In this unit, students will combine the skills they've learned to brainstorm and create their own virtual reality final project.

Try Out the Course!

Enroll in the full course and try it out for yourself!

View Full Course

Try Out a Virtual Reality Lesson!

In addition to the full course, parts of the Virtual Reality curriculum are available as quick playlists. Playlists are a lightweight way of having your students complete a series of activities, perfect for a lesson.

If you want to try out one lesson, use the Getting Started with VR playlist.

Here are direct links to each Virtual Reality playlist. You'll need to sign up for a free account if you haven't already:

For more information about teaching Virtual Reality with CodeHS, visit our Knowledge Base.

Lesson Plans, Problem Guides, and Handouts

Here is the getting started guide for teaching VR with CodeHS

View Getting Started Guide

Take a look at the lesson plan for the first lesson in the course.

View Sample Lesson Plan

Here is a problem guide for an exercise using spheres

View Sample Problem Guide

Here is a teacher handout about coordinate planes

View Sample Handout

Here is a one page overview of the Intro to Virtual Reality Course

View Course Overview

Interested?

Interested in teaching Introduction to Virtual Reality with CodeHS? Tell us more by filling out this form and we'll get in touch!

Bring to My School View Full Course

Demos and Tools

Students will build their own virtual reality experiences with shapes, animations, and interactions. Check out Blast Off!

Virtual reality worlds can be viewed in browser or with a VR device, including iPhone or Android phone headsets. Including Earth in VR