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It's a school-based bully intervention curriculum for 4th graders by VR videos, activities, group discussion, and self-reflection.

Empathy starter

3 unique aspects of the project. 1) A bystander perspective is emphasized; we believe the more empathy is evoked the more likely you take action to help others when seeing someone being bullied. 2) VR technology is applied to increase immersive experience and to foster perspective taking;3) a evidence-based curriculum, including 8 lessons per semester, was taught to 508 students in Taiwan.

Empathy Starter! An effective school-based bully intervention curriculum

Penny Pan, Technology consultant & Project manager
“~ Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.~ Aristotle.”

Penny Pan, Technology consultant & Project manager

Innovation of Empathy Starter lies in application of VR to social emotion learning  (SEL in short) for evoking empathy and perspective-taking. Most SEL learning in Taiwan is more like moral education and emphasis of peer pressure. Thus learners become indifferent towards those courses and admonishment. Our research concluded that It not only increased learners' motivation but also improved learning outcome. Comparing to those who had conventional class, students who used VR in class had stronger emotion and caused better learning retention even in 3 months after the class finished. SEL shall be personal and connect to one's own experience. 

The purpose of the curriculum is to transfer what students learn at class to their daily life. There are 8 VR videos presenting 4 interpersonal conflict situations with 2 different perspectives- victim and bystander. For each conflict case, all student played victim first and then played bystander in the next class. Besides, when students play the role of bystander, there are 3 actions in the end of the video, e.g. they will help the victim, or they will join others to bully the victim. And students will see the consequences of their choice. Each VR video is less than 3 minutes and provides an immersive and single perspective to make students easily place themselves in the conflict situation. Also they will have a very personal virtual space about their feelings and thinking while viewing VR.

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Innovation Overview
8 - 11
Age Group
Tips for implementation
1) VR headset with mobile phone for each student. 2) install empathy starter app (android version, in chinese). 3)teacher is more like a consoler to guide through students to express their emotion and thinking. If you're interested in implementing it in your class, please contact Penny for details.
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Each student has a VR headset with a mobile inside.
The VR helper in the Video!


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