08 OCTOBER 2019

Virtual Reality - A window to modern era of learning

Have you ever imagined a world where every student understands every possible scientific and mathematical theory and concept so well that they score 100%? Can you imagine a world where teachers just have to make decisions regarding which subject has to be taught and guide the students to learn, using virtual reality technology? Could you imagine a world where every complex and abstract information could be communicated more effectively through multi-sensory experiences? Is that even possible?

Well, the answer to all the above questions is YES!!, we are in an era of endless possibilities and experiences. In a recent study conducted by our research team at Embright Labs, we found that the practice of using virtual reality technologies in academics is found to be very effective and engaging, compared to the other traditional ways of teaching. Virtual reality (VR), involves a mixture of technologies that are used to imagine and communicate with a virtual environment. Such settings also represent three-dimensional space that can be actual or fictional, macroscopic or microscopic, based on any imaginary dynamics. The multitude of situations that VR can be used to portray, make it widely applicable to many academic fields.

A key feature of VR is that it offers visualized space for multi-sensory communication. This combination of multi-sensory perception and interactivity makes VR the most effective tool for active learning involving interactions, and also provides wider range of applications of virtual reality within the field of education. At the present VR is widely applicable and applied to many different educational fields including science, archeology, history and architecture. The benefit of VR over traditional presentation methods is that, the participant has the opportunity to experience subject matter which, with conventional methods would be difficult or impossible to explain or portray.

VR can be a powerful resource that can aid in teaching by creating an environment that allows the student to encounter scenarios and circumstances rather than imagining them. Three influences arise from the experiential design of VR systems: immersion, interactivity, and multi-sensory input. Immersion means that the space is enveloped and surrounded. The advantage of immersion is that it guarantees a sense of being in the depicted setting. Interactivity is the ability to control events by using one's body movements which, as a result of these movements, in turn initiates simulation responses. The multi-sensory nature of virtual reality means, information can be extracted from more than one context and adds to the experience by making it more authentic, engaging and offering information continuity which decreases the potential for uncertainty and misunderstanding. VR offers an atmosphere for active hypothesis testing and provides deeper understanding and learning. Some of the major applications of using virtual reality in academic fields involve wide usage areas, providing a more immersive learning environment, interactivity and interactive learning and ensuring to engage multiple senses that would result deeper learning and understanding.