Technology has ushered in a new era in the education sector. It has enabled students and teachers to elevate the level of learning by quantum leaps. For instance, Virtual Reality classrooms are a game-changer in facilitating higher education by fostering better engagement and conceptual understanding.
Knowledge dissemination is an in-class activity. However, its processing and absorption happen as an after-class activity. In the traditional system, a gap occurred as students were not able to clear their doubts after classes. This either dampened their enthusiasm or left their learning incomplete. This does not bode well for medicine or engineering education.
Technology has allowed learners to learn anywhere, anytime. With the help of AI tools, students can resolve their queries in real-time. As a matter of fact, there are AI tools that can also generate quizzes and question papers for students based on their content submissions. All this helps to sustain the learner’s interest as well as foster a higher learning index.
How can Virtual Reality be deployed in Higher Education?
Virtual reality is no longer a strange concept to students and teachers that exists in the fantasy world of science fiction movies. Many reputed educational institutes have deployed this novel technology to offer students an immersive learning experience. Whereas others have realised the need of this cutting-edge technology.
So whether they be scientists, engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs, lawyers or teachers, traditional methods are not coping with current needs. Let’s see how VR is bettering the educational landscape.
– Promoting Active Learning
Lecture-based learning has been the traditional method of study. However, technology has allowed students to experience an even better and more effective system based on Active Learning. This helps in enhancing skill development and knowledge.
As a matter of fact, a report shows that undergraduate students in STEM courses like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses exposed to lecture-based classes were 1.5 times more likely to fail their examinations than students who adopted active learning.
Take the example of students pursuing a career in healthcare. Which method would enable a better outcome? Learning about the heart as an organ through a lecture and diagram on the board method? Or a student experiencing a 3D animated cross-sectional anatomical rendition of the heart?
– Limitless Learning
The educational sector was entrenched in the notion that learning can only occur at specific locations. Moreover, if students were unable to attend classes due to geographical constraints, it would’ve highly affected their career. However, technology has changed these dynamics. Now, learning can happen anywhere and at any time.
The universities rose to the challenge and embraced technology with open arms. What started with video conferencing and online meetings has now progressed to more sophisticated models.
The best example of this is Virtual Reality Labs.
VR Labs allow students to access learning globally. They offer simulated and highly immersive learning experiences. Moreover, they are safe, risk-free and very cost-effective. Students can perform experiments or practice surgeries repeatedly at no additional overhead. They can even meet up with peers and mentors, which enhances global exposure.
Exploratory and Experiential Learning
Exploration and Experiential Learning inspire critical thinking and spark the inherent curiosity in students. This is very important to cultivate a scientific temperament. An attitude that observes and draws inferences logically is the foundation of science-based education.
VR-enabled classrooms to allow students to dive in an alternate reality where they can experience various places, situations, events, and even objects.
– Students can go on science trips like taking a virtual tour to the Moon, learning all from the classroom itself.
– They can visit the great civilisations like the Egyptian and Indus Valley and understand the evolution of society.
– In VR classrooms, rather than understanding the periodic table from a chart or understanding the chemical nature of substances by reading about them, students can hold elements and view the structural changes from within.
– Students can view the anatomy of the human body in 3D from within and understand its intricacies that are impossible in traditional classrooms.
Market Overview of VR in Higher Education
Virtual reality has infused new life into education and made it relevant to the current requirements. The numbers are good and the growth is promising.
– Fortune Business indicates that the global VR for higher education market will reach USD 13,098.2 million by 2026.
The higher education ecosystem is most likely to steer the growth of VR-enabled classrooms. These institutes and universities can increase student engagement, and globally expand their reach while avoiding campus overcrowding through VR classrooms.
VR fills not only the academic gaps but also offers soft skills training. Moreover, it’s excellent for upskilling as well. Professionals like experienced doctors and engineers can enrol in VR upskilling at their comfort and convenience to get additional practice if required.
…. the Virtual Reality Classroom offers seamless and immersive learning opportunities. It allows students to prepare, become workforce ready, and improve their skills in a risk-free zone. It is cost-effective and result-oriented. The dual benefits of time and locational convenience, along with a high level of immersive learning, is unsurpassed.