by Evan Sitler
Over the past century, many industries have benefited from innovative technology, including the education industry. Although computers can be seen in most North American schools, they are often left to be used as a tool to do work and less as a tool to learn. However, with COVID-19 disrupting the options available for students to learn, the industry has been forced to adopt technology and look at where they should head in the future. With these thoughts in mind and listening to students’ experiences around video conferencing classes, we’ll look at how the academic world is adopting virtual reality (VR) in all applications related to learning.
In the Classroom
In the classroom, VR has begun to see early adoption in courses that are hands-on in nature as it offers a safer and more immersive learning experience. Two great examples of this come from Georgian College and Career Labs VR. At Georgian, paramedic students are able to enter a high-stress virtual environment that mimics real-world scenarios. At Career Labs VR, those looking at a career in the trades can try a wide range of jobs and explore possible careers. Outside of schools, these types of simulations have also become popular for private businesses as it’s safer and more cost-effective to train employees in VR before putting them on to the job site.
Beyond hands-on simulations, institutes like Brock University have seen success in using VR for soft skills training and to hold regular lectures. This has been successful in the COVID-19 world because VR allows students to interact like they normally do while also adding features like going on virtual field trips or practicing conversation skills with virtual avatars.
Moving past the in-class learning benefits of VR, there are also advantages of using VR in the academic space for research. A great example of what has come out of COVID-19 is XpertVR’s latest product, The Research Access Portal (RAP). XpertVR’s RAP allows researchers to launch virtual research studies in a matter of minutes. First, this saves researchers hours of work and significantly lowers the cost of doing research, allowing graduate students with lower budgets to conduct research that would have otherwise been out of reach. Beyond the cost/time savings, RAP allows users to reach participants around the world and collect more robust data.
With remote tools such as the RAP and educational simulations coming out of COVID-19, it will be exciting to watch how the education industry evolves over the coming years. At XpertVR we hope this technology will create a world where students are immersed in their education and researchers can solve world problems in record time.
Bio: Evan Sitler is the Co-founder and CEO of XpertVR, a Niagara based start-up bringing imaginations to life through Extended Reality. XpertVR’s latest product, the Research Access Portal, allows researchers to design and launch complex virtual research studies in minutes.
You can contact Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org, connecting on LinkedIn or by calling at (519) 741-7778.