Every nation’s main objective is education because it has the power to change the lives of its citizens. Governments, both past and present, have attempted to develop and implement policies that will allow for the necessary transformation in the education sector. They provide education from primary to tertiary levels. The education industry is quite dynamic, closely monitoring trends in various industries and introducing a wide range of courses to meet the potential demand for skilled professionals. Along with these changes, educators and the education industry are considering how to redefine education and deliver better learning outcomes. The education sector has consistently shown itself to be a rapidly evolving field, quickly adopting changes in pedagogy, technologies, and societal needs.
In the 21st century, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been started. This is known as Industry 4.0, and it is enabling a transformative shift in several sectors. One technology stands out among the many that comprise Industry 4.0 in terms of enhancing human potential. This is known as Virtual Reality (VR), and it is also causing a fundamental shift in education and training. Virtual reality courses are quickly becoming popular as they demonstrate their effectiveness in delivering desired learning outcomes. Virtual reality was once thought to be science fiction and prohibitively expensive to use. However, that image of VR has shifted over the last decade as a result of technological advancements and the gaming industry’s adoption of the technology to deliver a fully immersive gaming experience.
Virtual reality is emerging as an effective tool that is reshaping how we learn and teach. Virtual reality technologies create an immersive and interactive three-dimensional generated by a computer virtual environment. It requires the usage of a headset that totally covers your eyes and isolates the user from physical reality. Because virtual reality allows for six degrees of freedom, the user gradually adapts to this virtual environment, giving the human brain the illusion that it can navigate with complete freedom. Virtual reality has advanced to the point where its use in classrooms is now affordable. Virtual reality education is four times faster than traditional learning methods and provides students with a high level of competence and confidence.
Consider the traditional classrooms at our schools and colleges, where learning is guided by a teacher or lecturer. One of the major criticisms leveled at the traditional approach is that it is not interactive or engaging, and it imposes a single pedagogical approach on all students. Given the class size, maintaining class engagement and ensuring positive learning outcomes for all students is impossible. Individual attention is certainly impossible, especially in an Indian classroom.
Virtual reality has redefined classroom experiences by developing immersive environments in which students can perform activities and gain skills that would be prohibitively expensive in the real world. Experiments and activities can be simulated to assist students in learning concepts by doing them. Because everything is done virtually, this method is free. The activities can be repeated until the desired level of understanding is attained. Virtual reality education can be designed to teach us about the world both inside and outside of our heads. They can virtually travel to faraway places, conduct experiments, see how the heart operates, walk along with wild animals, travel back in time, and much more, and still have an experience that feels entirely real.
Student’s engagement and learning are hands-on, which improves retention and understanding. Developing muscle memory ensures favorable repetitive outcomes and such learning experiences frequently produce results that last a lifetime. Another important aspect of VR-based learning approaches is that they are personalized and allow students to learn at their own pace. In comparison to traditional, classroom-based rote learning methods, a self-driven approach to explorative, experiential learning produces better learning outcomes. While we know that VR learning promotes problem-solving and critical thinking, it also promotes learning retention. VR learning is being rapidly adopted in the field of medical education. Exploring the anatomical structure of the human body through complete drawings only provides a two-dimensional way to learn about an organ, cell, or tissue in our body. VR training allows students to learn in an immersive 3D environment that simulates hands-on learning.
VR-based learning is becoming increasingly important in the development of critical understanding and skills for human society. For example, virtual reality training allows medical students and surgeons to practice life-saving diagnoses and procedures. This training is available to nursing, dental, and medical students. VR simulations provide training in resuscitation, complex procedures, and postsurgical and acute care management processes. Providing such training using traditional methods is time-consuming and costly. Virtual reality courses perform better than traditional ways of learning at a fraction of their cost and time.
Another important aspect of VR training courses is their ability to provide greater access and equity to all segments of society. The technology is accessible from anywhere in the world and can reach the most disadvantaged segments of society with minimal investment. The building and lab infrastructure are provided can be reduced, allowing capital funds to be used for more value-added initiatives. VR training can be customized to different styles of learning and disabilities.
The promise of virtual reality training is not without challenges. A system of support that trains and equips VR developers through VR development courses and VR certification programs is also required for the ecosystem to develop VR solutions. One of the reasons India is a powerhouse in IT services is that its leaders recognized the importance of computer and engineering education early on and invested in those areas. Similarly, the potential of VR can only be fully realized if the talent to create VR solutions is properly groomed. Along with this, educators must modify the existing curriculum by incorporating VR educational modules, VR design courses, and so on, and effectively integrating it within the curriculum. Government policy initiatives and incentives for promoting the use of VR and programs to learn about virtual reality are being implemented.
Fusion VR, a pioneer in VR and AR certification courses, has created the Industry Academic Alliance Program (IAAP) in collaboration with ARK Info Solutions Pvt. Ltd. This program assists in the formation of academic collaborations, training, as well as research possibilities across Extended Reality (XR) with a number of Indian colleges and universities. The initiative’s overarching goal is to develop the necessary skills and provide employment opportunities for the large number of science and engineering students who will graduate from our universities with the skills needed for placement in the MR, VR, and AR domains.
As you are able to see, virtual reality courses have been leading the charge to reimagine education in today’s 21st century. Virtual reality education and training courses are transforming traditional learning approaches and addressing the challenges associated with traditional classroom-based learning and access to quality resources. The immersive and interactive nature of virtual reality encourages high levels of student engagement and makes high-quality education available to all students and societies. VR education is on track to further democratize education and enable society to make long-term progress over the next few decades. Fusion VR is proud to be a part of the VR ecosystem in India and is eager to collaborate on the advancement of VR education.