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5 Technologies that Enable Immersive Learning in Higher Education

Many students have difficulty in grasping complex concepts by reading a textbook. A textbook offers a 2D abstract rendition and does not offer an in-depth perception. It’s easy to lose interest and hence focus. This does not bode well for students pursuing higher education, especially specialised medical and engineering streams.

Children today favour technology over conventional methods of communication. Technology, however, is a great enabler if used correctly. It has offered and expanded the scope for education content and delivery. These technologies offer Immersive Learning Experiences which have substantially bolstered students’ learning output by creating an engaging and meaningful learning experience.

Explaining Immersive Experiences

An immersive experience is not necessarily one that only deploys technology. The narrative is such that if it connects, forms an emotional bond, and captures the attention, it becomes an immersive experience.

VR technology offers an immersive experience, whereas listening to your favourite music or reading an interesting book can also be an immersive journey.

Immersive Learning is the new buzzword. It creates a highly engaging atmosphere. Students are absorbed by the task at hand and suffer lesser distractions. This facilities deeper learning as well as speeds up learning.

How Immersive Learning Offers Engaged Experiences

Immersive content modules have many uses- from explaining 3D geometrical shapes to training about hazardous situations. These offer a risk-free training arena where minor lapses can lead to safety risks. Training in an immersive and simulated environment can mitigate these risks to a great extent.

Immersive technologies blend the boundaries and the lines between the real and virtual worlds. Learning integrates easily and effortlessly as students navigate both worlds.

The workforce of tomorrow will be highly specialised. Hence, it is necessary that students today access new skills and knowledge to address the challenges that future professions will demand.

The infrastructure, technology and information should be made available to offer contextual support, remote collaboration and in-depth simulations. These features will enable immersive learning.

The Supporting Technologies

  • VR & AR Technologies
  • The VR in education use market is projected to a $13,098.2 million one by 2026 and the AR one to reach $ 97.76 billion by 2028. *Fortune Business Insights

Virtual Reality is a technology that offers high levels of immersion in a digital environment. VR environments create real-world scenarios using 3D and 360-degree renditions. Earlier known for its usage in gaming, its scope has expanded to crucial sectors like healthcare and K-12 and higher education.

Augmented Reality (AR) works by superimposing digital elements into real-world spaces. Technical training and development for complex machinery are expensive and dangerous. AR applications allow the parts to be overlaid on the physical space and studied without risks. This also ensures resource optimisation.

For example, in auto manufacturing, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has an AR-enabled training program. Trainees can access an inner view of the vehicle dashboard, and trainees can see all the parts behind the panelling without removing the dashboard.

VR-AR are pioneering technologies offering Immersive Learning for Higher Education. The technologies transforming learning intake in higher education.

  • Speech and Gesture Recognition Technology

By decoding human speech, speech recognition enables communication flow and does not allow language to be a barrier to learning. The predictive tool breaks down human speech into phonemes which algorithm analyses and decodes.

Virtual Reality recreates a duplicate world, and users can navigate the world with voice and hand commands. Speech recognition enables a similar hands-free output. Speech tools can simulate human conversations with artificial humans and render them so that AI-powered 3D robots can easily interpret them.  In the context of learning, if medical students are undergoing surgery training and their hands are occupied, they can execute commands with speech technology.

Speech technology allows for a seamless flow of communication and enhances the immersive experience. Gesture recognition technology also works in a similar way and facilitates human-computer interaction to offer a deeper and more engaging experience.

  • 3D simulations

3D simulation technology is a unique computer-generated environment. Learners can freely explore and interact in a 3D simulated environment.

The technology is scalable and allows large-scale implementation of learning modules. It promotes a hands-on learning approach crucial to developing higher education skills.

This technology has the edge over 360-degree videos as they can move and explore the environment, which is impossible in 360-degree videos.

Positive learning outcomes have been observed in cognitive and affective areas, which are crucial milestones of learning goals.

  • The Benefits of Immersive Learning 

Engaging students is a challenge for educators. Immersive learning awards greater power and self-control to the learner.

Creating an immersive and distraction-free environment allows learners to personalise their learning goals. The sense of control and achievement motivates learners to higher standards.

This ensures better learning outcomes leading to mastery over technique, which helps create a more modernised workforce.

It is not just theory but is backed by several studies as well conducted on the benefits of immersive learning.

  • For example, Stanford University conducted a study on the benefits of immersive learning and observed a 76% increase in learning effectiveness over traditional instructional methods.

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, Immersive Learning Experiences in VR in higher education promote critical thinking and skill enhancement. It encourages active learning through a hands-on approach.

It offers a risk-free and cost-effective environment that fosters communication and independent thinking. Students are motivated and enjoy the learning process.

The above-mentioned technologies offer an immersive and simulated environment with high interactivity. All these blend in to offer an engaging learning experience which enhances the learning graph.

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