Schools and universities around the world have been tasked with preparing their graduates for work life and, for many, the challenge hasn’t been an easy one. Technology is changing at a fast pace and as soon as an educational organization becomes accustomed to the latest technology for training, something new and better comes along. This has forced many institutions to change the way they teach and look for what’s next, even before it becomes available.
In some universities throughout the UK, teachers are creating their own methods of teaching that are using virtual and augmented reality technology to keep them ahead of the technology curve. These single or multi-user, computer-based environments enable students to interact with one another or others in virtual world situations where they will be able to learn more effectively and be ready for work life after university. Students can travel to other parts of the world, become immersed in a hospital’s operating room, or find themselves learning new tasks using equipment and techniques that would normally be too expensive or bulky for a classroom, environment.
Everything from science and medicine, to engineering and math are suited to these virtual worlds and serious gaming has provided a development platform for teachers and students to interact in the same virtual realm. Developers researched and data illustrated the aspects of the serious games and educational institutions immediately saw the benefits. Some of which included:
Reduced anxiety and embarrassment- these factors can impede a student’s learning.
Students are able to revisit lessons they didn’t understand and repeat the lesson several times until they finally understood the material and were able to show their understanding in the virtual environment.
Improved social interaction between students as they were able to communicate with each other in the virtual world rather than the traditional digital world where emails are prevalent.
The potential for learning which stems from this technology is still young and, as more schools and universities begin to use the technology, is will continue to grow and improve, offering even more benefits and making students better prepared for work life.
Studies have shown that self-directed learning is becoming the new normal for educational institutions around the world and this is ensuring that a focus on the platforms, software development and user interaction is becoming a priority.
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