Benefits Of VR For Educators In Online Teaching
Education is steadily evolving, with technology taking the epicenter. Due to technological advancements, educators can offer more meaningful lectures to learners anywhere and at any time. Learners, too, don’t have to first reach specific lecture halls to attain quality education. With the availability of education apps, learning is possible just anywhere.
Thanks to technologies like VR, AR, and AI, online teaching or learning isn’t all about sitting in front of a computer and listening to/watching a teacher explain concepts. With Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence respectively learning is more impactful.
Virtual Reality specifically has proved to be a reliable technology for all types of learners. VR allows students to visualize concepts using special glasses. For those who may be new to the technology, Virtual Reality is simply the utilization of devices to create virtual simulations. The technology offers a 360-degree view of anything in a digital environment.
Depending on the course or the goal, learners can enter virtual environments and experience things as though in the real world or present in that particular time in history. Since 1935, when VR first surfaced, it has gained popularity due to its capabilities, whether in eCommerce, science, healthcare, engineering, and education.
The utilization of VR in education requires a set of equipment such as a screen, monitor, and VR glasses. VR tools are quite expensive, but Google’s Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear headsets offer complete immersion in a digital environment at a low cost. 5G cellphones have also made it possible to access the virtual realm from anywhere by all users.
VR in education is suitable for in-person and online teaching, and the latest statistics indicate that the global Virtual Reality market in the education sector is expected to increase to $8.66 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 36%. Educators are also sure about the application of VR in education. Ninety-three percent of teachers stress that their students would be excited to use Virtual Reality. If you’re an online educator and wondering how VR can transform your classroom, here is how.
5 Ways Educators Can Benefit From VR For Online Teaching
1. Helps Offer Immersive Learning Experiences
With VR technology entering the education landscape, the learners’ future is certainly bright. Many learners used to opt for online learning to obtain a high-quality education. This was/is more common with learners who want to enroll in foreign colleges. However, today, online education does not only allow students to enroll in the college of their dreams but also offers adventurous learning experiences.
Educators can utilize VR technology to fully immerse learners into whatever they are studying. Instead of depending on textbook material to teach concepts, educators can lead learners into virtual environments where they can obtain a 360-degree view of whatever they are learning. For example, in a biology class, learners can fully analyze each aspect of the human heart and experience how a heart surgery is conducted.
VR apps like Anatomyou and Unimersiv are excellent platforms for learners to study human anatomy through virtual 3D navigation of the human body. With a clear perception of what they are studying, learners can set SMART goals, as well as explore new academic fields. With all this, VR-based online teaching offers a remarkable opportunity for students who want to learn new skills or those who prefer self-learning experiences.
2. Increases Engagement
If teaching is to meet its purpose, learners’ engagement must be primarily cultivated in a classroom. Post the pandemic, studies show how students’ engagement has dramatically diminished due to a more extended period without entering physical classrooms, among other reasons. Student engagement generally refers to the degree of curiosity, interest, motivation, and attitude a learner displays during the learning sessions.
These cognitive abilities among others, such as determination, highly contribute to academic performance. With online teaching, educators’ interaction with students is quite limited, and it may become difficult to monitor student engagement. However, with VR, educators can relax knowing that the technology can fully immerse learners into what is being taught.
Virtual Reality is associated with a higher level of student engagement, as it takes learners into a different realm that utilizes 3D visuals to foster curiosity and imagination. Student imagination is also high, which enables them to think creatively and critically.
3. Associated With A Higher Retention Rate
One of the biggest concerns of online teaching is whether students are able to understand and retain what they study. Apart from mastering how to teach online, any passionate educator would be concerned about delivering meaningful lessons.
Depending on the area of specialization, educators can leverage VR technology where applicable to enhance student retention rate and academic performance. Virtual Reality is an immersive and engaging way to deliver certain lessons, i.e., science-based, engineering, and even professional training. One study on the impact of VR on academic performance indicated that learners who were trained using VR outperformed those who were taught using the traditional approach by 93%.
The rate of understanding and retaining concepts is high generally because humans are primarily visual. Science proves that the human brain processes visual content faster than text and that’s why there is a higher retention rate with VR. VR-based programs also inspire students and can also motivate them to learn more.
4. Caters To Experiential Learning
The need for skills and expertise in any field of study has become more crucial than ever before. For that, educators must prioritize delivering essential skills besides knowledge. VR in online education is making it possible for students to attain hands-on experience without leaving their learning spaces.
Areas like engineering, architecture, IT, medicine, and outer space exploration can all be catered for with VR-based programs. Virtual tours are also possible at no cost as long as the educator and the learners have the necessary digital tools.
VR headsets, such as the Google Cardboard, are making VR accessible to students and other users. They can collaborate and interact despite the physical boundaries and gain better insights into whatever they are learning.
For educators who love bringing innovation into the classroom, VR is a perfect solution. Apart from Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality is a smart and distinctive way of delivering lectures. It makes learning more meaningful and upgrades it from being a mere practice of sitting in front of a computer into an activity of immersive learning experiences.
The VR-teaching approach is all-inclusive and ensures that everyone benefits highly, whether a student prefers textbook learning styles or visual learning mediums. Educators can also easily explain intricate concepts in a way that is digestible.
VR application in the online classroom is possible now that digital tools are becoming more accessible to all users. You can become an innovative educator or teacher by introducing VR technology into your virtual classroom. For a start, opt for an education program to familiarize yourself with VR-based teaching or how to inspire learners through technologies. It will surely set you apart from other educators and enhance your reliability in the education field.