The recent technological advancements have made it possible to integrate virtually simulated environments to make learning more effective. It has been proven that any learner is able to retain 80% of the subject taught when he/she is actively involved or engaged. Well, these Virtually simulated environments are now coined as “Immersive Learning Experiences” and it is now possible to experience the enormity of the universe and cellular complexity of living organisms by not leaving the classroom using this tech.
Imagine the power of your students sitting in a classroom being able to take a virtual tour of the Great barrier reef on their laptops or desktops. Or even better learn about the history behind the ancient archaeological sites, by virtually visiting the sites from the library. Imagine being present at Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream Speech” or accompanying Neil Armstrong on the first moon walk — it would be a lot more memorable than reading about it, right?
What the Research stats say about Immersive Learning Experiences?
Researchers at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB)are currently developing Virtual Plant Cell, the first interactive VR experience that is designed for use in the classroom. Learners explore the alien landscape of a plant cell. Wading through swampy cytosol, ducking and weaving around cytoskeletal fibers, and uncovering the secrets of the plant’s subcellular treasures: emerald green chloroplasts, where photosynthesis takes place, curious blobs of mitochondria, or a glimpse of DNA through a psychedelic nuclear pore.
The inner workings of the cell are grounded, allowing students to actively engage with the lesson’s content through meaningful tasks. They may work in pairs to give each other tours or create a photosynthetic production line. Using intuitive gestures, students grab carbon dioxide and water molecules from around the cell, feeding them to chloroplasts to produce glucose and oxygen. With all the ingredients for active learning, the Virtual Plant Cell should be a particularly effective teaching aid. Indeed, preliminary data suggests it may improve learning over traditional methods by 30%.
Immersive learning can do what traditional learning cannot. It not only shows a student what something is but also makes the student learn about how it happens. Human psychology differentiates between theoretical(what) and practical knowledge(how). In simple words, the best way to learn a skill is by implementing it in real life.
Experience creates Experts
Students can explore different careers first-hand by visiting the workplaces. For instance, a student who aspires to become surgeon can experience the interiors of an ICU and the equipments of a surgeon. The student can learn the complexity of a surgery by actually experiencing it without leaving the school lab.
The mind-blowing feature of immersive learning is that it makes learning fun and not dull, which helps a teacher have a better command over the students. The students interact with their peers which in turn helps them develop team building skills. Instructors nowadays don’t even need to write a single line of code to create immersive experiences for their students.
The objective of immersive learning is to create an experience, which triggers understanding and awareness among students. Immersive learning enables hands-on learning for students which makes the student actively participate in discussions and taking reflective actions in a safe and controlled environment.
The theory of constructivist-based learning, according to South African educator Dr. Seymour Papert, “is grounded in the idea that students learn by actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information ‘poured’ into their heads.”
For example, in traditional learning, knowledge and meaning are transferred to students by their teachers. However, when a student is immersed in an interactive VR module we often hear, “NOW I understand what you are saying about chloroplast!” This is where constructivism plays a vital role as knowledge and meaning is coming from the student’s experience. So, in simple words, VR based immersive learning develops constructive learning for better understanding of the subject
Research suggests that immersive learning strengthens the connection between a student and a concept, therefore possibly heightening retention.
When students are in an immersive environment, they are far less prone to distractions such as classmates, phones, and so on. They are left to concentrate on that core concept.
It is about participating in the learning process and having actual/virtual experiences, and enjoying the process, which in turn should increases engagement and motivation within students.
How can Immersive Learning help teachers?
VR based immersive learning empowers teachers to make flexible additions to the curriculum and make necessary changes to their methodology of teaching. Possibility of attending to different styles of teaching is now a reality for teachers. This in-turn increases the pace of rapport building process with the students in a classroom. Teachers can now track a student’s understanding of the topics being taught using analytics which is not possible in traditional learning process. Constant assessment of VR analytics data allows a teacher to efficiently analyze, track and monitor the progress of a student, and also provide guidance and feedback to the students.
As interactive VR based learning encourages active participation, it becomes easy for teachers to identify possible gaps in understanding and attend to those issues in a timely manner, only if they are afforded that kind of data.
There is a frequent misconception that immersive learning in the VR will make the teacher’s job redundant. Far from it! One of the key components of immersive learning is that it allows the instructor to act as facilitator, freeing up time to work with struggling students, one-on-one. Allow students to connect with these difficult situations or concepts on their own, constructing their own pathways to understanding.
Experizer is a Web Based Authoring Tool that empowers you to build 360° Immersive Experiences quickly and easily. These 360° Immersive Experiences can be used for classroom Trainings, Virtual Tours, and even simple Assessments. With our “No programming anytime” approach you can simply select a pre-existing experience template, upload your content and publish it for Web, Mobile as well as VR glasses. And thanks to the Cloud, every 360° Immersive Experience that you create on Experizer is seamlessly available to all students within your classroom as well as all online audiences.