For a number of years now, we’ve been hearing a lot about the potential that VR has in the field of training and education. However, the uptake of this new technology has been relatively slow when considering the theoretical benefits. According to the University of Maryland, VR can also help certain aspects of a student’s performance.
8.8% improvement in recall accuracy compared to the desktop condition… This suggests an exciting opportunity for the role of immersive virtual environments in assisting in recall. Given the results of our user study, we believe that virtual memory palaces offer us a fascinating insight into how we may be able to organize and structure large information spaces and navigate them in ways that assist in superior recall.
This is according to the findings of their research regarding the use of VR in education. Here below is a list of how some institutions have taken the leap forward to VR.
Taipei Medical University
The Taiwanese medical school has begun to use Give VR headsets to their students to visualise their lectures on human anatomy. Though it may never fully replace the use of cadavers for practicals, it does afford students more time and freedom to learn how anatomical structures are interconnected.
Virtual Field Trips
This is one of the fastest growing ways to make use of VR as a tool to support learners. A large number of schools have started adopting the technology and pairing it with Google Expeditions to take students to locations they otherwise would not be able to. With Google Expeditions being free to download and use on a smartphone, coupled with the availability of cost effective VR goggles made from cardboard. It is easier for teachers to take their learners from Time Square, to the Barrier Reef and then to the moon. All in a matter of an hour or so.
Full Immersion To Learn New Languages
One of the best ways to learn a new language is to full dive in and listen to and speak the language as often as possible. However, not all of us have the means to jet off to an exotic location simply for the sake of hearing and speaking a language. This is where VR headsets could come in handy. There are a few applications like Unimersiv, that are made to help people learn new languages through a VR headset by connecting with people in other parts of the world to practice their language skills.
Group Learning and Learning From a Distance
This is a VR use case that has already made its way into commerce through enterprise collaboration. However it could also be useful to universities that offer online courses and have large numbers of students/applicants from other parts of the world. From lectures to campus visits, the possible uses in this instance are many.
This list only scratches the surface of the possible uses of VR in educating future professionals. The only limit is our own willingness to try new things. That said, the future of VR looks bright for more than gaming enthusiasts.