Improving cognitive learning
Using virtual reality technology for educating students is a relatively new concept. Five years ago VR was not much more than a concept and the expense of buying VR simulation hardware has reduced dramatically since then. An individual VR headset is available for around USD$300 these days due to the improvements in production techniques and development of the science behind virtual reality hardware design.
DPVR VR headsets are being used in a growing number of industry sectors where our hardware is being combined with clever virtual reality software for safety instruction, technical education, corporate training and even helping students with learning in schools or universities.
Even with the rapid development of this technology there are some misconceptions about VR being used in schooling or the education industry.
- VR is mainly for gaming – while this may have been the case in the early days, VR software has evolved where it is being used to teach people new skills, help improve eyesight and even OH&S training.
- VR cannot help students to learn better – various studies have proven that virtual reality can improve a student’s engagement and retention of information.
- VR cannot meet students’ special needs for studying – virtual reality applications have evolved greatly and this includes many custom made solutions to suit all types of needs.
- Complex VR equipment is needed – these days you can buy a standalone wireless VR headset & start consuming educational content within five minutes after opening the box.
Research about VR helping improve education cognitive learning results
Around the world there have been various studies undertaken to prove the effectiveness of VR when being used for educational purposes. The common trait with the fundings has been that using VR not only strengthens the engagement of students while they are learning but improves its efficiency with greater levels of retention too.
The Korea World Bank Partnerships Facility recently supported a study that provides a systematic review of the extent to which VR education can successfully develop students’ skills across different education fields
Results of this study proves that VR education is, on average, more effective than traditional training when developing students’ technical, practical, and even socio-emotional skills.
VR used for gamification and learning
There was another study from Eileen McGivney, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate in Human Development, Teaching, and Learning, that indicates VR could enhance students’ study abilities.
- Gamification of learning. Knowledge normally flows from teacher to students only while students have no chance to apply what they just learned immediately in a traditional class.
Gamified VR education programs promote students to actively apply new knowledge in a stimulating environment that is fun which leaves long-lasting impressions with the students compared to notes on a board or book.
- VR inspires imagination and encourages creative thinking. With a stimulating environment, students own the possibility to try out something that could not be practiced in real life like a chemical experiment. They are empowered to do everything in a stimulating environment.
How can VR be used in an education classroom?
The most traditional set up for VR being used for education in classrooms would be that the teachers and students need to watch the same screen so they can understand what the teacher is talking about. This method requires a traditional VR group link system that has a large number of devices including computers, wiring and networking set up in the room to share the large volumes of data. For a classroom of 30 students you would need 30 x computers & 30 x headsets.
One of the newest methods developed by DPVR is our Starlink VR sharing system. You only need 1 x PC to share the VR content and then multiple VR headsets for the students, without the need for their own computer hardware. The wireless VR headsets make it simpler, easier and less problematic to use VR in the classroom.
Everything is sychronised through powerful modem hardware that reduces any latency and makes it simple for the teachers and students to connect with each other. This creates a very cost effective solution that can save money on purchasing expensive computer equipment.
Examples of VR in education to help improve cognitive learning
Veative is a specialist virtual reality education software provider that DPVR partnered with to help create VR solutions that can be used in education environments. Veative are a global provider of education technologies that are used in various learning simulations for schools and even commercial applications.
Their solutions are used in more than twenty five countries around the world to engage learners with abstract concepts to help bridge the gap between knowledge and understanding. They have more than five hundred interactive STEM modules on their platform with examples including physics and chemistry topics
Another example of VR being used in education is from ImmerseMe. Their focus is to become the world’s best academic language tool. They have nine different languages and more than 3,000 different scenarios available in the app. The languages you can learn with ImmerseMe include German, Spanish, French, English, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Greek, and Indonesian.
In practical terms, students can learn to order a baguette in Paris, buy a bento box in Tokyo, or try tapas at a Spanish restaurant.
Strivr is a provider in the field of Immersive Learning solutions, helping companies transform employee training and performance at scale. It has been partnered with so many companies. One of those companies is Sprouts.
Sprouts is a nationwide purveyor of natural and organic foods that has been growing since 2002. Today, it owns 340 stores and over 35,000 team members. COO Dan Sanders describes Sprouts as a culture-driven, people-centered organization. For fast equipping team members the ability to make sound judgments that could generate corporate values. They choose VR to educate their employees instead of in-person training. “When you’re in that headset, you’re so immersed. You feel like you’re there.” Comment from Cindy Chikahisa, VP Store Operations, Sprouts.