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6 Applications of Virtual Reality in University Education

virtual reality

The advancement in EdTech has had a significant impact on the education sphere. Various developments have made teaching and learning easier. One of such developments is virtual reality. It refers to the technology of generating three-dimensional objects and surroundings through computer simulations. People can interact with the objects using unique eyewear and sensory gloves. This technology has transformed many sectors like Architecture, Digital Marketing, Engineering, Healthcare, Entertainment, etc. In education, virtual reality has diversified how people teach and learn, especially in higher education. To understand the impact VR has had on education, here are some areas where it is currently in use.

Virtual Reality in Distance Learning

Learning online is one of the significant milestones ever achieved in education. Campuses can reach students globally despite the physical location. Students are also able to access courses from any campus in the world from their computers. However, students may not feel connected to the rest of the students or lecturers due to lack of physical contact. Virtual reality provides the best solution for this. Lecturers and students can project themselves in 3D with a VR headset and virtual chat spaces. Universities like Stanford School of Business have already applied this method for specific courses.

Collaboration Through Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has played a considerable role in consolidating learning. Students from different parts of the world have different experiences, and it’s often hard to interact and share. With virtual reality, education is now social as students can talk and use body language with other students through their avatar despite the difference in location. Teachers are also able to participate in international seminars and conferences more actively. An excellent example of a successful virtual reality collaboration is the Giza Project. Students from Harvard worked together with those from Zhejiang University in China to identify hieroglyphics and learn about characters in ancient Egypt.

Interactive Learning & Virtual Reality

Simulation, the creation of a virtual object or imitation of a process, is instrumental in teaching history. Students are often overwhelmed by the numerous books they need to read for subjects like history due to its vast nature. Through simulation, it is possible to recreate some parts of history, such as the Roman ruins. Students can have the most realistic interactions with past events, which is a more effective way of teaching. Additionally, civil engineering students can build virtual buildings and examine the functionality. Architecture students can also explore their designs more realistically. Furthermore, it is possible to create crime scenes and challenge law students to create cases from them instead of reading through loads of statements. Virtual reality improves the quality of learning by bringing it to life.

Student Recruitment

Recruiting new students is often a hectic procedure for most students and universities. Universities strive to keep up with the competition, and students want to attend numerous campus tours to make the right pick. Thus, the process may be expensive and time consuming for the student. Universities may also struggle to cater to the large numbers. This makes virtual tours a very viable solution. Just like students can easily get help with their personal statements from DoMyEssay, VR technology allows them to visit campus from their homes. It is also easier for international students as they do not have to travel for a campus tour. They save a lot on transport and accommodation costs.

Training Through Virtual Reality

Courses like medicine that require a lot of hands-on training are costly to fund. This is due to the numerous equipment required. Students need the most up to date medical appliances and lab apparatus to ensure they are ready to work in real life. The financial constraints force the universities to admit a limited number of students or enforce sharing of equipment. Through virtual reality simulators, universities can provide the necessary training at a much lower cost. Medical students can perform complex surgeries with adequate equipment or carry out complex experiments in real-life readiness.

Development of Communication Skills

A considerable number of students cannot communicate effectively. They suffer from stage fright, speech anxiety, and other conditions that affect their public speaking ability. While physical learning provides an opportunity to sharpen communication skills through presentations, it is not adequate. There is a limited number of presentations in a module. Learning online via platforms like Zoom does not solve the problem either. Through virtual reality, students can practice their soft skills in a safe environment. Students can give a virtual speech and get an assessment through a feature called speech analysis. Good public speaking skills are a massive advantage in the job market.

Virtual reality offers numerous benefits to the learning process, though its current application is still minimal. Its influence is more likely to increase in the future, and its application is also likely to evolve. While it may not entirely phase out physical learning, it is a valuable addition.

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Thomas Moore

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