The field of education has always aimed at expanding their learning methods to step out of their generic tendencies. Particularly, their lack of practical application results in a mainly theoretical approach. Thanks to the exponential growth of the new technologies, we came across new tools allowing us to go beyond the theory and improve learning efficiency. Bold innovations, such as Virtual Reality, have launched the education field into a new era: EdTech. EdTech is defined by the use of hardware and software in order to enhance teaching methods in the educational sector. One of its more popular form is Immersive Learning.
In the last decade, numerous studies and experiments have demonstrated the benefits of Immersive Learning. As it improves our retention of information by 75 to 90% (memory anchor), Virtual Reality also promotes the learner’s creativity and curiosity. Check out our infographic on the benefits of Immersive Learning!
Why use Virtual Reality in the classroom?
Immersive Learning is a teaching technique combining theory and practice. It allows to recreate the reality of the field thanks to 360° photos and videos in which we add pedagogical interactions. This method is, therefore, looking to improve and broaden the already existing teaching techniques and resources of the teachers.
Imagine having the ability to have students travel through time and around the world, or even use voice recognition in order to learn new languages. Discover use cases examples on our website!
The University of Sunderland has recently led a scientific study (read snippet) around the best use cases of Virtual Reality in the education field. This study conducted several experiments opposing Immersive Learning to “conventional” schoolings.
Classic teaching vs. VR training
360° video vs. video course
The first experiment aimed at evaluating the overall effectiveness of learning in Virtual Reality. To this end, scientists equally divided a group of 40 med students : each group was taught how to tie a reef knot through two techniques. The first group followed a course in a 360° video and the second group followed a regular video course. After the final test, results showed that 17 subjects from the VR group were able to successfully tie the knot against only 12 in the second group.
Another experiment was conducted on a group of 110 college students. The subjects were tested on their knowledge of wood structure twice. First after following a course using classic learning techniques, and a second time after exploring an 8 minutes VR simulation of a house in mid-construction. At the end of the experiment, the students showed a 64% improvement with VR.
Simulation VR vs. PowerPoint
The next experiment of this study focused on theory vs practice. A class of primary school students was split into 2 groups of 29 children.The first group followed a course on the water cycle via a PowerPoint while the second group followed the same course on a VR simulator. Thus, one groupe learned through pure theory whereas the other was basing itself on usability and experimentation. After collecting the feedbacks of the students, scientists noticed in the VR group that 67% of the subjects found the application useful in their understanding of the subject and 95% of them expressed a great enthusiasm with a desire to repeat the experiment on other subjects. Overall, the study showed a better engagement from the apprentices with Immersive Learning.
The results of this study prove the efficiency of Virtual Reality in the learning process of the students (memorisation, anchor, practice, emotions). The question now is, how to deploy Immersive Learning in the classroom today?
How to deploy VR in the classroom?
There are several ways to bring VR to the classrooms, whether it is with mobile, PC, headsets or tablets… Which one is better, cheaper and the most suitable?
With Uptale Immersive Learning Platform, create and share VR training modules on all devices : cardboards (mobile-based), headsets (computer-based), phones, tablets, and PCs. The latest hardwares may be hard to access depending on the resources of the teachers, but a lot of more accessible alternatives assures great efficiency as well.
Which device for which user?
The study has shown a great compatibility of the mobile-based VR on both children in primary schools and really advanced professionals. VR can reach a large range of age and some devices seems to be more suitable regarding the learners (age, size, in classroom or remote…). If you want to share it at scale and in remote, devices such as phones, tablets and PCs will be a great choice.
If you want to share it to a smaller scale and experiment Virtual Reality training at its best with you students, then VR headsets or cardboards are the most suitable.
Finally, If you have a high quality of details and a lot of interactions, VR headsets will be best. If you want to share it easily without any technical constraints, cardboard may be found more convenient.
Uptale already assists many schools in their Virtual Reality deployment. Get in touch with an Immersive Learning Specialist to learn more.
At last, technical questions and logistics constraints brought by Virtual Reality do not in any way take away this technology’s great potential. Several schools and universities already made the jump with Uptale: Harvard University, Cambridge University and NUS are already deploying their modules to their students and faculties. Find out more use cases:
We have yet to explore all the benefits of Immersive Learning by democratising this tool at bigger scales. Of course, a balance between what can and cannot be taught with Virtual Reality has to be establish. Nevertheless, the huge potential of this innovation can’t be ignored because, today, it’s only limit is our imagination.