With proven benefits like improved student engagement, higher retention, and increased student learning outcomes, Virtual Reality has the potential to be the next big thing in the field of education. In this era of rapid change, we have already witnessed a myriad of changes in the field of education recently. Especially since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic which led to schools and college campuses being shut down, locking millions of students and teachers, across the nation, out of the classroom, the methods of teaching have evolved swiftly. Owing to the huge demand for remote learning, many apps for teaching online have been developed. Apart from the flexibility of time and space that Online Live Classes Apps provide, they are also overall cost-efficient, nature-friendly, save time, provide access to high-quality content and opportunity to learn from the best teachers, and the facility to receive swift and timely feedback. Moreover, students today have a higher affinity for use of technology in learning. This provides educators with the opportunity to employ novel and futuristic teaching techniques like Virtual Reality to teach their students. Simply put, the term Virtual Reality is used to characterize an interactive three-dimensional computer-generated environment or a 3D computer simulation which an individual can explore and experience. This provides an immersive experience for an individual who can interact with and manipulate the elements of the simulation, just like the real world. VR has immense potential to make learning more engaging, effective and to take education beyond the traditional classroom experience. Moreover, with devices such as Mobile Virtual Reality Headsets, the VR experience is virtually accessible to anyone from anywhere at any time. This makes VR teaching technique just as scalable as traditional online classes. Here are some ways in which Virtual Reality can make the online learning experience more effective….
VR provides Experimental Learning-
Experimental learning, as the name suggests, is learning through experiencing the subject matter first-hand. The importance of gaining practical knowledge can not be overstated. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much knowledge one possesses, it’s much more about how well one may apply the knowledge he gained. Moreover, experimental learning also increases the rate of retention of information. According to Hermann Forgetting Curve, when taught in a traditional instruction-based manner, even if a student hypothetically, retains cent percent information from the class, the retention rate will drop to about 20-50% from the next day onwards which drops to just about 3 percent after a month. Experimental learning can play a pivotal role in increasing student learning outcomes. VR simulations are the closest students can get to gain the first-hand experience of the subject matter. From important wars in history to the concept of relativity, or applications of gravity, VR simulations can help students learning the simple as well as the most abstract concepts easily. Experimental learning through VR helps students learn faster, increases student engagement, and simplifies complex concepts for them.
VR fosters Imagination and Creativity-
As the great physicist Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” VR simulations appeal to the creative side of students and encourage them to use their imagination by allowing them to experience in graphic detail and live the nuances of a concept.
VR provides Flexibility in Learning-
Similar to online classes, students can learn via VR simulations, from the comfort of their homes and at any time which suits them. Due to this, Virtual Reality would make a great addition to online classes, and apps for teaching online should integrate features to provide VR learning to their students.
VR provides an Active Learning Environment-
Active Learning Techniques involve students in the center of their own learning. Unlike the instruction-based passive teaching approach employed in traditional offline classrooms, an active learning environment is focused on engaging the students with the study material. VR is quite useful when it comes to providing an active learning environment for students. In a VR simulation, the student experience and interacts with the study material himself which helps in improving learning outcomes.
Therefore, it is evident that Virtual Reality is a highly effective, imaginative method which can be employed for teaching students more efficiently. Furthermore, the flexibility of Virtual Reality makes it an excellent choice for integration with online teaching platforms as it has the potential to improve the online learning experience of students.