Virtual Reality (VR) and e-learning are two areas of expertise that are increasingly bound to merge. Virtual Reality allows users to dive into simulated and interactive worlds, generally using specialized equipment such as a helmet for vision and controllers for movement. The user can explore and interact with a virtual environment, as if they were physically immersed in!
When e-learning and VR are combined, highly engaging and effective learning experiences come to life. The following examples showcase some of the possibilities for Virtual Reality in e-learning:
Virtual environments can be used to reproduce real-world scenarios in which learners can practice new skills. For instance, medical students can use this type of training to practice medical procedures in a safe and controlled manner.
Using immersive digital reproductions of hard to access locations, learners can explore protected historical sites and museums, or even inhospitable environments such as space!
Virtual environments can be designed to encourage interaction and collaboration between learners. Collaborative problem-solving and design are one example of what can be achieved with VR.
Learners can be safely trained to deal with high-risk or dangerous situations using virtual simulations. Be it for fire safety, first-aid, or any other emergency scenario, simulations are an effective way to train staff. VR can bring the experience to life for learners, through its power to simulate different emotional states.
Virtual reality can also be used to develop specific practical competencies. Competency-based application of VR range from flight simulators for airline pilot training to practical training for underwater welders.
There are many advantages to the use of virtual reality in e-learning, such as increased learner engagement, improved retention of learnings and the possibility to train in safe and controlled environments. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the adoption of virtual reality can require additional investments, both in terms of content development and equipment distribution.
There is a reason that the e-learning sector grew by an impressive 900% over the last 22 years. If e-learning can increase retention from 8-10% to 25-60%, as compared to in-person learning, imagine what effects it can have when combined with VR!