Along with the advancement of technology, there has been a revolution in the educational industry. Whether it is print media or web, we have acknowledged richer and easily accessible information. Therefore, the idea of web-based learning systems has always made sense to us.
As we are turning more and more digital with online classes, eLearning and virtual reality have become more popular buzzwords in the entire academic world. But the major concern for the learner is keeping themselves engaged with what they are being taught. The eLearning platform developers need to create a course that grabs the attention of learners within the first few seconds of the session otherwise they will lose their focus. Therefore, several instructional designs are being used for increasing engagement among learners.
But despite all the efforts including images, videos, quizzes, tests, and infographics, learning –management tools can only offer limited immersion. The learner will remain on the front of the screen but wouldn’t be able to interact with the instructor.
However, when it comes to VR or Virtual Reality, the level of interactivity with the characters and items in the surrounding becomes much more engaging in comparison to other online courses.
What is Virtual Reality?
VR is a three-dimensional environment that is created by the computer which can easily be explored and interacted with. To achieve the unbeatable experience from VR, a learner will have to wear headgear that proffers auditory and visual stimuli. With the help of such entertaining learning material, learners become fully immersed while learning even the smallest details easily. All of this, undoubtedly, makes VR the future of eLearning.
Use Case of eLearning through VR
The first VR was in the form of head-mounted devices that are known for their specific usage. Moreover, they were not in the reach of every person, until the development of headsets such as Oculus RIFT, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear and so many others that can be connected with smartphones effortlessly. Besides, the VR devices are ideal for learning and training systems simultaneously.
Let’s check the scenarios where VR can help in accessing simple and efficient learning.
- With access to affordable mobile gadgets, the training for the newly joined employees can be provided by creating different types of environments. VR in the eLearning can be used for critical courses such as dealing with bomb diffusion, working in operation theaters, and so on which will in return minimize the risks.
- Similarly, these devices can be used by designers to create better 3D model designs than they do with traditional methods.
- Along with that, VR integrated eLearning can also guide students in understanding more easily through the virtual surroundings created for the educational materials. For example, several videos can be converted into virtual reality to develop the interest of learning in every child.
Now the major question arises, what are the places they are being used nowadays? So, let me give you some real-life examples.
- Microsoft is using and providing players of MindCraft Metaverse with Rift Virtual Reality which assists children in expressing their creativity in the virtual world.
- Some companies like CITEC let you have your own Virtual Gym along with a personal instructor.
- Astronauts of NASA use VR to get training for the upcoming missions.
- Automobiles like Toyota offer immersive experiences while training teens about driving through VR without putting danger on drivers, pedestrians, or vehicles.
What’s the Advantage of Using VR eLearning?
Practice & Visualize Virtually
With VR one can easily visualize and practice their skills from anywhere. One can easily walk inside a brain cell for learning better or gain the experience of teleporting to the ancient era – all of that while sitting at the comfort of their home and having an internet connection.
Improves Quality of Learning
AR along with VR helps with the process of learning as it offers powerful visualization, enhanced learning environment, bridging the gap between theory and practical knowledge, and simplifying complex learning by bringing the entire process of learning to life.
Despite the age of the learner, virtual learning creates an interest that they would adore to sit and learn new things instead of reading those boring books. It helps in creating an unforgettable experience that one can never achieve in real-life situations.
Removes Language Problem
One of the biggest problems in the education system is language. If someone is learning in a different country, they need to learn and understand their language. However, with the virtual reality learning software, one can easily implement the language that they are comfortable with. Thus, it removes the language barrier entirely.
Brilliant Ideas to Implement VR in eLearning
Now that we know how virtual reality is redefining the learning process, its advantages, and uses, it’s time to evaluate how and where it can be implemented in the future.
In the upcoming time, there will be a possibility to sit at the top of a pyramid in Egypt, travel in space, walking in the ancient historical cities, experiencing wars, and so on. These experiences will help in improving the learning of different subjects with a whole new level of interest.
With the advancement of VR, there are chances that we will be able to convert digital learning into scenarios like never before. These innovations outshine when a high immersion is necessary.
For example, imagine a doctor in training entering into a virtual environment where a patient is in the need to be operated on immediately and there are no real-life consequences impacting their performance. It will not only lower the risks but also helps them in making rapid decisions, learn from mistakes, and receive feedback from seniors.
Another concept in this area is the Virtual Classroom where the surroundings will change depending on the course which can be changed even with a moment’s notice. These classrooms can be coded with 3D objects that enhance the lessons. Besides, while giving a lesson on human anatomy, the teacher will be able to digitize different parts of the body for increasing the engagement and interest of students.
Even though I have covered some topics of virtual reality in eLearning for you, it’s just a scratch on the surface. But it will be so much fun to take lessons of history while visiting that era virtually where the characters greet and take you with them showing or asking them about their opinions on certain scenarios.
However, these experiences are only limited by imagination, budget, and technical knowledge or ability. While some of them may seem quite far away from reach but with the rapid development in technology it might be closer than we can imagine. So be ready for the life-changing experiences that are on their way for the betterment of learning.
Woman wearing virtual reality goggles -DepositPhotos