Classroom reality – could it be virtual reality?

1 May

If you have ever read a book and wished you could literally immerse yourself into the story, then you have had a taste of what virtual reality can do for the average person. Imagine being able to have a truly personal experience when reading a book, or a studying a subject. That’s something to be thought about when it comes to classrooms, not just in South Africa, but on a global scale.

While the age of the teacher will never really be over, how those teachers present their classes is certainly changing. A new age of teaching and learning has emerged and studies (the results speak for themselves) have shown that classes taught using virtual reality have been far more successful than any old fashioned teaching style. Which is something that should be getting the attention of students and teachers everywhere!

The Virtual Reality Learning & Teaching Stats Don’t Lie!

Statistics show that students absorb around 20% of the information that they hear in a class. Visualisation seems to be far more effective as students presented with attractive or eye-catching visuals, are more typically able to absorb and remember around 30% of what they see.

Combine these two learning mechanisms and you start to get a more effective learning outcome. But what if students could remember 90% of what they are taught in each class? That’s a whopping amount of information to retain without revision, but it’s not impossible.

In fact, that’s what the statistics say about Virtual Reality classes. Virtual reality lessons create such an immersive, personal learning experience that students can walk away from the class with a recall of up to 90% of what they have seen, heard and experienced.

This ‘inert’ stat has probably got your attention, but there’s no need to digress at this point! Let’s look at what else makes VR such an effective learning and teaching tool that’s of ‘the now’, and not of the future.

Why is VR learning so effective?

This is a simple one to answer. Immersive learning systems ensure that the student is personally participating in the lesson and is actively involved.

In the traditional classroom, students are present and ‘possibly’ listening, but there are a multitude of distractions such as their peers and of course, the ever-popular smart devices and tablets.

According to the Journal of Medical Education (and the medical field is one where student attention is vital), students spend around one fifth of their time in the classroom checking their smartphones and other social media devices! That means on average, a student will check his/her phone 11 times during their lessons. That’s a shocking statistic, but at the same time, not unexpected.

Today’s society is so connected that the virtual or digital world seems to be distracting us from the real one.

Of course, the smartphone or handheld device cannot be eliminated from a student’s life, but the device will needs to be better utilised for learning and participating in a personalised lesson. This probably means that a student will revert to browsing social platforms and checking messages once lessons are complete.

Breaking down language barriers

It’s not just the immersive experience that makes VR such an effective teaching and learning tool. Students are also afforded the opportunity to attend or participate in lessons in their home language, which can make a huge difference to just how much the average student learns. This also means that students can study internationally without having to first learn a new language.

Last, but not least, is the social aspect of VR. Gone are the days where the technologically minded students were considered the nerds and outcasts of student social societies.

A great change has been seen where the tech minded are appreciated for their knowledge and can actually assist others in reaching their full potential with their studies and virtual reality integration.

The VR environment has seen students form more meaningful and better social connections with all peers, instead of selected ‘techie’ groups. That in itself is a win for the human race!

The Future of Learning and Teaching Gets Real…Virtually Real!

Virtual reality is no longer something of a mystery. It’s true benefits and potential is finally be realised as classrooms all over the world are beginning to make use of it. Never lose sight of the fact that, with VR and with any system where everyone is so easily interconnected, personal data and information must be carefully protected. Find out how by chatting to a consultant at Soteria Cloud!

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