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VR: How Universities Are Adopting a New Learning Method

Virtual learning can offer a wide array of benefits to universities. It’s more engaging than traditional learning, encourages participation, simplifies complex concepts, and so much more.


So how are universities adopting virtual learning?


This blog post will examine the various ways that three institutions of higher learning have successfully adopted this learning method.


Without further ado, let's get started!


Queen Mary University


In January 2022, Professor Shafi Ahmed led a virtual reality lecture in the United Kingdom. Third-year students at Queen Mary University attended this class, and many believe this was the first-ever metaverse class in the United Kingdom.


Professor Ahmed noted that VR provided many benefits compared to traditional forms of learning.


The lecture took advantage of VR's 3D replicas to deliver practical lessons without needing to visit the lab.


Queen Mary University of London Vice-Principal (Education) Stephanie Marshall also weighed in on the experience. She stated that teaching via 3D is an excellent example of how a learning institution can impart knowledge to learners while giving them a great experience.


Medical students who attended the virtual session, like Periklis Giannakis, said they were super excited to have been among the first to participate in this one-of-a-kind lecture.


Giannakis loved how fun it was and that students could connect as though they were in the same room.


Stanford Graduate School of Business


Another successful application of VR was in LEAD, Stanford Graduate School of Business’ year-long program between 2018 and 2019. LEAD stands for Learn, Engage, Accelerate, and Disrupt, centred around managing change and innovation within organisations.


The online program was able to help students that couldn't make it to in-person classes at the university.


The virtual class attracted students from different geographical locations worldwide and comprised learners from public institutions, non-profits, and small and large companies.


Students enjoyed interacting with each other, compelling them to organise a meet-up at the Stanford Campus after the first cohort graduated.


Arizona State University


Another scenario where virtual learning worked effectively was at Arizona State University (ASU).


In the spring of 2022, researchers set out to investigate which learning mode gave better results regarding immersive learning and learning in an actual lab.


A total of 486 students took part in this study. Researchers placed 243 students in Dreamscape Learn, a virtual biology class, while the remaining 243 attended a traditional class.


Students could travel through the virtual world to interact with creatures in an immersive wildlife sanctuary. The lessons were engaging and exciting. In addition, the students felt like they were in a galactic space throughout their study.


Guess how the students performed?


The learners in the immersive course had higher lab grades than their counterparts who took conventional sessions!


Can Virtual Reality (VR) Work In Higher Learning?


Absolutely.


VR has so many applications when it comes to teaching. Educators can use it in business classes, biology labs, language learning, and outdoor field trips, to name but a few.


In 2023 and beyond, we predict we’ll see more universities and colleges slowly transition from traditional learning to VR. This is because this form of teaching has consistently shown higher engagement levels among students and teachers, translating into better performance.


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