3 Exciting Ways To Use Virtual Reality For Elearning

Spending on virtual reality (VR) hardware for university campuses is expected to almost double in 2018 to $17.8 billion, a recent report explains. By 2021, the same report states, 85% of hardware spending in US universities will be on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (AR) tech. Ready to make the most of virtual reality in your own elearning modules? Here are three suggestions for how to do so.

  1. Simulate environments for training purposes. It is well known that airline pilots use virtual reality to simulate flight before they take to the air. But, VR can be used in multiple environments. For example, trainee teachers have been using it to safely simulate situations such as rowdy classrooms or meetings with combative parents. The benefit here is that they get to test and hone their reactions in a safe environment so that when they do find themselves in a difficult situation in the workplace, they will be ready to deal with it. Another increasingly popular example is medical students, who practice performing surgery on virtual organs using highly detailed and realistic simulations produced by VR headsets before they start to operate on real human bodies. If your elearning module involves any practical training, integrating elements of VR into this training is sure to help you to tick those risk management and health and safety boxes as you plan the module.
  2. Explore the potential of virtual reality for replacing, and extending the scope of, existing equipment. One example is the humble microscope, which has been used in university laboratories for centuries. Modern virtual reality hardware enables students to magnify tiny objects with much more detail than microscopes can. For instance, recently, biological science students have been using virtual reality to explore the intricate details of plankton in three dimensions.
  3. Gamify learning. Who doesn’t love the exciting, immersive experience of a virtual reality game? Studies have shown time and time again that gamification makes learning much more engaging and is also great for enhancing students’ retention of information. Try using VR technology to immerse your students in an educational game where they need to solve problems and puzzles to acquire a reward. That will be an unforgettable class.

Has your institution’s IT department been following the trends and increasing their budget for virtual reality hardware? Do you have any additional suggestions about how VR edtech could be incorporated into the higher education classroom?

 

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