Innovative teaching approaches: Virtual reality in the classroom
The new technologies provide a wealth of opportunities to make learning more fruitful for the future workforce which is growing up in this digital era. This encompasses different breeds of technology such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), gamification, mobile learning applications and online learning platforms, among others.
The application of technology can help the universities stay ahead of the curve by supporting educators’ teaching, promoting creative enquiry and also enhancing learning through exposure to advanced technology. With this in mind, Concordia University in Montréal is working in close collaboration with Knowledge One – a learning and eLearning consulting services company to help with its eLearning, blended learning and mobile learning solutions.
Advances in AR, VR and simulation have opened the floodgates to digital internships, virtual labs, simulated industrial operations and novel approaches to collaborative and experiential learning. Digital internships serve as a useful platform for students who are unable to engage in a ‘real-time’ internship due to personal constraints. Meanwhile, VR has been dubbed a revolutionary tool that provides students with an immersive learning experience, transporting them to a new environment without ever leaving the classroom.
Such options present students with the opportunity to learn in mixed reality and simulation environments, helping them visualise difficult concepts, explore environments that are dangerous or challenging to access and augment a student’s ability to gain knowledge, practice skills and experience. The combination of these realities with artificial intelligence (AI) and other machine learning technologies allows for very unique and innovative ways of teaching and learning.