Immersive Education: Why Virtual Reality Might Be the Next Gamechanger in Education

Feb 28, 2022

VR Object Manipulation Hologram

Virtual Reality (VR) technology has revolutionized how we teach and learn in classrooms. VR creates an immersive and interactive experience that augments traditional educational methods.

So is VR the future of education? What are the challenges in the adoption of VR tech today?

Let’s take a look!

Advantages of VR in Education

Since humans evolved to interpret 3D cues, any learning method that involves 3D renderings has significant benefits in helping students absorb concepts.

VR-based 3D experiences can overcome the limitations of traditional paper-based learning, which is restricted to two dimensions.

And there is research to back it up.

VR Provides Enhanced Learning Experiences

VR technology provides students with a unique learning experience that is more engaging and interactive than traditional classroom methods.

Studies have shown that students are more likely to remember information learned through immersive experiences, such as VR simulations. According to Forbes, experiential learning experiences improve retention by up to 75%.

Another example of enhanced learning is for children who are legally blind, with the help of VR-based glasses. NuEye is a pair of glasses that allow a legally blind child to vie colored silhouettes of his surroundings, bringing a form of interaction to the classroom, such as being able to see their classmates.

This greatly improved engagement for these children, helping them interact and socialize with their class.

Isn’t that cool?

VR can create realistic simulations

VR technology allows for realistic simulations of complex, dangerous, or expensive scenarios that would otherwise be impossible to recreate in a traditional classroom setting.

For example, students can experience the effects of climate change or explore the human body in 3D.

Additionally, interaction can be made possible- such as varying the temperature for a climate change simulation and seeing the effects or zooming in on an organ in a human body rendering.

This vastly improves student engagement. Teachers having to urge students to participate in a class might be a thing of the past!

The sense of realism of VR experiences dramatically contributes to the higher retention rates discussed earlier.

Improved enjoyment and longer attention spans

At times, regular classroom teaching can get monotonous. Children aged 8–10 have attention spans of 20–30 mins on average, and it can be challenging to keep them engaged.

VR-based education solves this issue by enabling gamified and immersive learning. Since the child can actively interact with the environment, researchers have found that increased engagement and longer attention spans are possible.

In fact, VR is already being studied to help with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The initial result show promise, with a reduction in hyperactivity and improvement in assessment scores such as IQ measurement.

Challenges Facing Immersive Education

Despite the promise shown by VR tech today, the penetration of this technology in education has been limited due to the following factors:

High initial cost

One of the main limitations of VR technology is its high cost. The cost of VR equipment, software, and maintenance can be prohibitive for many schools and educators.

The average cost of a VR headset is $500, and the cost of a VR-ready computer is $1,000. However, with headsets becoming cheaper, the ability for educational institutes to afford to buy multiples for a cohort is becoming possible.

Technical challenges causing discomfort

VR technology is still in its early stages, and there are a few technical challenges that need to be overcome.

For example, some students may experience motion sickness or physical discomfort while using VR technology. This can be caused by a low refresh rate on cheaper headsets and latency issues when communicating with a computer.

Recent headsets boasting higher refresh rates of over 120 Hz aim to solve this problem. Better hardware, naturally, tends to be costlier but is a viable option for those who can afford it.

Lack of standardisation

There is currently no standardisation in the development of VR content for education. This means that there is a wide range of quality and accuracy in VR educational content. Therefore, educators must be careful when selecting VR content to ensure it is appropriate for their students.

As VR-based education becomes more mainstream, we should expect some form of regulatory standards to be drawn up by educational bodies, which will help standardise the VR curriculum.

Closing Remarks

VR-based immersive learning allows for interactive ways for students of all ages and all domains to learn.

The most significant advantage of this method is that the complex systems can be demonstrated in intuitive formats, where traditional ways of teaching fail or fall short.

Challenges still exist in making the tech accessible and developing a standardised schema for teaching, but we can already see VR-based education augmenting teacher-learner interaction.

The future is up to our virtual imagination.




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Seamless XR © 2022-2023, All Rights Reserved




Seamless XR © 2022-2023, All Rights Reserved