Virtual Reality—What Is It?
Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that allows users to interact with that environment realistically. VR is often used in gaming but has potential applications in many other areas, including online learning.
With VR, you get to step into another world. You can explore new places, meet new people, and learn new things without leaving your home. Not to mention, you can do it all in your pyjamas! All you need for this immersive experience is a VR headset and a VR-ready computer, and you are good to go.
Online learning is great. It gives you the flexibility to learn at your own pace and on your own time. You can choose from various courses and programs to study from anywhere in the world. Cool, right?
That being said, online learning has some obvious challenges. First of all, it can be pretty isolating. Additionally, it’s easy to get distracted at home, with so many other things competing for your attention (like that Netflix show you’ve been meaning to watch).
Soon enough, you get fatigued from staring at a screen all day, which makes it even harder to focus and retain information.
This is not to negate the positives of online learning. But it’s important to be aware of the challenges so that we can find ways to overcome them. The truth is that online learning is only a subset of e-learning, which includes all learning that happens electronically.
E-learning/Online Learning During the Pandemic
Though e-learning has been around for a while, the mass adoption of online learning was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the closure of schools and universities, many institutions and students turned to online learning as their only option.
Even though e-learning was made popular by an unpleasant circumstance, the world soon adjusted to it and gradually eased into it, making online learning the “new normal.” While we tried to utilize it to the maximum, the truth remains that online learning is only a tiny part of the bigger picture.
How We Can Incorporate VR In E-Learning?
Think about it this way. Online learning can be pretty dry and boring. You might be sitting in front of your computer for hours, staring at a screen, with only the occasional break to get up and stretch your legs.
But with VR, you can be placed in a simulated environment that looks and feels just like the real thing. And because VR is so immersive, you can really get a sense of what it would be like to be in that environment. Here are some different areas you can deploy VR in e-learning:
Benefits of Incorporating VR into E-Learning
VR is more than just a computer manipulation. It has the potential to transform e-learning and make it more effective, immersive, and engaging. Here are the immense benefits of VR in e-learning;
- VR promotes engagement by immersing students in the lesson content.
- VR e-learning improves retention because it allows students to interact with the content and experience it firsthand.
- VR can also be used to gamify the learning process, which makes it motivating for students.
- Unlike most traditional online classes, VR in e-learning makes lessons more fun and exciting.
- Learning in virtual classrooms encourages spontaneous conversations and social interactions, reducing the feeling of isolation significantly.