use VR to enhance online education

Top universities use VR to enhance online education, offering immersive learning at home

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As VR technology continues to develop, a growing number of universities are constantly exploring new ways to integrate it into online education.

Not so long ago, Meta partnered with 15 universities across the US for VR classroom sessions and exercises. 

Universities like Purdue Global (nursing simulations), the University of Alabama at Birmingham (business courses in a virtual campus), and Nova Southeastern University (anatomy for medical students) use MetaVerse technologies to inspire and motivate students.

If it was a few years ago that students had to do massive research studies, buy a term paper online  or to check writing services reviews to better understand specific aspects of a complex topic, now they can visualize challenging math concepts and explore historical events using VR.

Using VR becomes common as more and more top universities incorporate it into their curriculum: 

  • Business School at Stanford University uses VR for soft skills training through an app called BodySwaps. Students get a chance to practice difficult conversations or job interviews in simulated scenarios.
  • Arizona State University leverages VR to help students communicate in new languages. Students practice speaking in various virtual environments. The university also uses VR in its online biological science degree program. This approach allows remote students to participate in class discussions and labs virtually.
  • The University of Southern California uses VR to immerse students in historical events, bringing the past to life in a way that textbooks can’t. 
  • McMaster University is using VR to elevate its engineering education. Its focus is on new learning experiences through simulations, interactive visualizations, and virtual laboratories.
  • At Harvard University, students can study Egyptian characters by looking at an ancient tomb. Immersive technology creates a memorable experience and enhances students’ understanding of archaeology and anthropology.
  • Queen Mary University of London also uses VR technology to help medical students boost their medical training and education.

Key ways of integrating VR into online education

Universities are getting creative with VR to boost online education, offering students a more engaging experience from their homes. Here are some popular ways they use VR to make the learning process more exciting.

Virtual labs and field trips

Imagine dissecting a frog in a VR biology class or exploring the pyramids in an archaeology course. VR can transport students to realistic simulations, overcoming the limitations of traditional online learning. 

You can stay at home in front of your computer and see historical events from your textbook come to life in front of you. This approach makes every lecture memorable, as you use almost all of your senses to be present.

Social learning in VR classrooms

VR can create virtual spaces where students and professors can interact as avatars, fostering a more social and collaborative learning environment even when physically apart. 

No matter where you are, you can have the same experience as your classmates. Remote students get an excellent opportunity to join online classes without experiencing alienation.

Language learning with virtual immersion

All those who have ever tried learning foreign languages understand how stressful and frustrating the process can be. As a rule, you lack a partner who would keep the conversation going when you practice. VR can place students in realistic scenarios to use a foreign language and overcome the barrier of a perfect student. 

Some students just can’t speak to a real person if they know they make many mistakes and choose the wrong words. With the help of VR, you can have a cup of coffee at a French cafe or order food in a Spanish market. The best part is that no one is going to judge you for your mistakes.

Enhanced visual learning

VR excels at bringing complex concepts to life in 3D. Those studying anatomy, engineering, or even art history can greatly benefit from it, as visualizing objects or environments is crucial. 

Students who can practice using VR will find challenging operations less frustrating. Engineering a bridge or road junction becomes easier when you can see real-life objects and adapt your calculations accordingly.

VR is a technology that aims to create a realistic, three-dimensional world that you can experience as if you were physically there. VR can trick your brain into believing you’re actually in the virtual environment. This is called presence, and it’s what makes VR so immersive and engaging.

Even though VR technology is still evolving, students can benefit from using it today. While it can be quite convincing, the visuals and sensations may not be perfectly realistic yet. Will it revolutionize the future of online education? We have to wait and see.

Also Read: Embracing the Digital Age Through Online Education for Personal Growth



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