From providing in-depth knowledge and teaching complex subjects to facilitating language immersion and virtual travel, Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to transform the way we learn and teach.
In schools for younger children, it’s already widely used. Still, we’re seeing it used more and more in higher education for a variety of reasons, including its ability to enhance learning and help students develop work-related skills.
With real-life examples of universities, business schools, and colleges utilizing VR in higher education, we make a case for using VR in higher education, illustrating how and why it’s being used.
Benefits of Virtual Reality in Education
Find out what virtual reality can do for your classroom by implementing it! Millions of students worldwide experience the benefits of virtual reality in education. Find out what you can do!
Enhancing Student Engagement
Through virtual reality, students can experience learning and participate actively in the lesson. Exploring immersive learning environments, such as the moon or faraway lands, can inspire students’ imaginations while boosting classroom excitement and engagement.
Enhancing knowledge retention
Students are fully immersed in virtual reality, and their senses are entirely focused on the teaching topic. Students’ brains create clear, detailed mental maps when they experience cases as if they are authentic, improving knowledge retention by up to 75%.
Enhancing student learning outcomes
A range of student outcomes is benefited from experiential learning with virtual reality. Teachers can improve student understanding, attainment, and even test scores by 20% by providing engaging, individualised experiences like walking with prehistoric dinosaurs and holding a beating human heart.
Collaboration and social skills development
By creating exciting, collaborative learning environments, virtual reality improves teamwork and social skills. The educational metaverse allows students to interact safely and collaborate virtually on learning topics in pairs and groups – all of which contribute to increased interaction and collaboration in the classroom.
With virtual reality, teachers can make their students feel like they are in someone else’s shoes. For educators to improve emotional awareness and build empathy in their students, they can help them explore different cultures and experience life from the perspective of refugees.
Providing support for SEND learners
By creating new opportunities and increasing accessibility, virtual reality benefits special education. Teachers can create personalised learning environments that align with students’ specific learning contexts and meet their particular needs, from sensory rooms to life skills.
The use of virtual reality in education
1. Engage students more effectively
An immersive virtual reality classroom can help boost student engagement by making learning more engaging and communicative. Participants will be more excited about learning when classrooms are interactive and communicative.
It is not always possible for all students to enjoy reading and learning the theory in traditional methods, but a virtual reality setup is an entertaining and comprehensive one that lets students easily and simply learn by watching them, relating to them, and being a part of whatever they are learning. It is possible to create more technologically advanced and engaging education by incorporating other technologies such as the internet of things in education. They will be able to see 3-dimensional images.
2. Learning through experience
There is a big difference between learning something by reading or writing something, based on the past and imagining what it might feel like, and learning something by seeing it as it is in reality. The latter is accommodated by virtual reality.
The technology provides students with experience-based learning by providing stimulated displays that make them feel like they are part of the setup they are investigating. It is possible to enhance this experience even further by combining the VR devices with sensors, which can be used to track the movements of the learner and adjust the displays on the VR screen accordingly. By experiencing the things directly, the students will be able to remember the things they learned for a longer period of time, enabling them to refer to them later on.
3. Field trips virtually
Field trips are an essential part of educational culture because they provide students with exposure and practical experience. In some cases, field trips are impossible, such as when schools are closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The cost of some trips makes them unaffordable for all students.
It is possible to take a virtual reality tour and experience the place without actually visiting it, saving time and money. They can view the realistic graphic-based images and view the place and even move their heads to see various angles and views exactly as they would in real life. You can do all of this without ever leaving your classroom. VR graphics can be coordinated with IoT-based temperature control systems in order to provide more details and sharpness to the experience.
4. Training in high-tech fields
To educate people about the practical aspects of execution, virtual reality can be used in high-tech, professional training. In this way, the enrolled people can practice for a real-life situation in a realistic environment. VR landscapes are combined with real-time devices connected to a wireless system that makes them move in the training VR screen as if they were moving in real life.
In the military, virtual reality can be used to practice real-time combat situations or battlefield training before actual training takes place. In medical training, virtual surgery, treatment depictions, and a 3D view of the human anatomy can be used to get a better understanding of the body. Furthermore, virtual reality can be used in other fields like mechanical, disaster management, and even virtual laboratories, etc., to get a detailed view of the situation and to practice a safe and cost-effective learning process.
5. Learning by distance
A smartphone and an internet connection can be used to access educational applications and sources from anywhere. To adopt these techniques, schools are building portals that allow students to log in and access their ongoing studies. Students can participate in the educational curriculum without needing to be physically present in a school or institution. Such applications keep them connected and enable them to interact.
To be educated, one doesn’t need to be physically present or at a particular location. Moreover, if there are pre-recorded ventures, the person wishing to learn can use the application at any time to educate himself. Using the appropriate devices, students can rewatch prerecorded virtual graphics as many times as they like at their own pace.
By combining virtual reality with augmented reality, virtual reality makes distance learning, collaboration, and training possible; it allows learners and even distant educators to connect virtually and share ideas.
Several avenues have opened up for students and teachers in the education sector as a result of virtual reality. Virtual reality makes education more impactful and learning more deeply than traditional methods because it is so broad and versatile, as well as being cost-effective and having the potential to make education more practical and interactive.
In some cases, virtual training and live demonstrations are safer for learners than direct training, because there are no devices or resources wasted in virtual training and repeated practice. This can prevent injuries. An internet connection and a smartphone are all that’s needed to do this.