Tom Symonds, CEO, Immerse

For those involved in the provision and consumption of further education, there are several challenges to overcome.

Available finance is often limited on both the side of the education provider and the prospective learner, limiting the amount of instruction offered, and the number of people who can afford to learn.

There are many ways in which virtual reality can be used to reduce these costs and therefore make learning flexible and accessible to wider audiences.

VR technology can not only cut learning expenses, but also improve the learning experience as a whole for all parties involved.

Reducing travel costs

Historically, the leading method for teaching in further education is face to face discussion between teacher or trainer and students. While there are some institutions that rely on learning over the internet, it is greatly accepted that the ability to interact in person with peers and instructors is incredibly beneficial.

Interaction boosts retention rates and interest levels in students and therefore increases learning success. This, of course, means paying for a space in which people can come together, plus the time and travel costs of teachers and students alike who have to regularly commute to and from the place of learning.

With virtual reality, these costs are completely removed, while the benefits of face to face learning and discussion are retained. Students and teachers do not need to be in the same room, city or even country for them to come face to face with one another, and the commuting time is only as long as it takes to log into the VR scenario.

Essentially, the time that would have been lost during travel can now be spent on more productive things, allowing teachers more time to teach, and students more time to learn.

Keeping training time at a minimum

It is now widely accepted that learning in Virtual Reality drastically increases retention rates and higher emotional engagement. This makes sense when you consider how much more you remember of an activity you physically carry out, rather than one you merely read about. Interacting with other people or the physical item you are learning about is far more immersive and engaging, and forms far stronger memories than looking at presentations and 2D diagrams.

Where learning is centred around a piece of machinery for example, diagrams and even videos cannot show you how something works as efficiently as being able to interact with it yourself. Virtual reality provides not only 3D representations of physical objects, but can also include multiple interactions that can walk a learner through otherwise incredibly complicated procedures in a straight-forward and engaging manner

As an example of how VR can be implemented for training purposes, we have worked with Inmarsat to develop a scenario where the user learns how to put together a satellite terminal from its constituent parts in a simulated desert environment.

The process involves plugging in wires, finding and attaching matching pieces and flicking switches, and if not done correctly the machine will not power up. Explaining each of these stages using diagrams would take an incredibly long time, and a video of the process would have to capture many different stages and images, and probably have to be watched several times to have an effect.

However, when subjects are taught in less time, training can be tailored to each learner’s specific needs. With less time needed to fully train a student, less costs are incurred and more students can be trained at the same time, reducing costs of drawn out learning times.

Plus, if a student ever needs a ‘top up’ in a particular area, or maybe if something they have learnt is subsequently altered, it is easy and inexpensive to re-do part of the training scenario, encouraging life-long learning and personal development

Less reliance on physical (and expensive) objects

When learning a language, all that is needed is a teacher, a student, and potentially some text books and stationary. However, when students need to learn to interact with physical objects, particularly in vocational training, much more equipment is required to effectively train them.

Gaining access to this equipment is notoriously hard – for a start it is often expensive to purchase, especially when it will be only used for teaching rather than its actual purpose. Where the object is large or heavy for instance, learners and teachers must make the journey to wherever it is stored, incurring additional costs.

However, if the item was to be created in virtual reality, all of these challenges and their associated costs are removed. Virtual reality also dramatically helps in situations where an asset will be used up after being used for learning.

Each learner can place wear and tear upon a machine they are practising on, and can possibly break or damage important and expensive parts. If a learning process involves cutting, breaking or making otherwise irrevocable changes, new stock needs to be bought for every learner, every time they go through the steps. With virtual reality, the process can be repeated time and time again, simply resetting the scene to the original condition whenever necessary.

Safely recreating danger

There are many cases where learning involves unreliability and danger, which can be difficult if not impossible to recreate without great expense. An example of this is disaster recovery or health and safety training. In real life, in order to create a scene which will allow a learner to practice their reactions to dangerous and unexpected stimuli is almost impossible to do without endangering the learner.

However, in virtual reality, any conceivable situation can be simulated in as realistic a way as possible; from a nuclear reactor meltdown, to mines collapsing, to a violent attack on an office building. Not only can learners fail safely time and time again until they get it right, but they can do this without incurring any additional cost.

In addition, as everything in VR is recorded, learners can easily analyse and receive feedback on their actions after the event, making for a more meaningful learning experience.

Creating your own solutions

With education technology becoming a global phenomenon, the market is expected to grow to $252bn by 2020, it’s never been easier to be part of the digital revolution and ensure both students and staff can achieve ongoing upskilling and training.

That said, there are many education institutions and business interested in implementing VR training and education programmes but do not have the resources nor the staff required in place; in addition, some of them need customised solutions that fit their own needs. However, VR doesn’t have to be costly nor complicated, and it can help drive savings in the long run.

In addition, educators can create their own VR scenarios, with the support of tools such as Immerse’s VR Platform. This way they can create, manage and distribute their own 3D assets and VR scenes, and reap the benefits of the innovative solution.

The 3D assets can then be shared for use by multiple people in both VR headsets and browsers, while all interactions can be tracked for analysis for future improvement too.

Tom Symonds, CEO, Immerse

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 9 hours 20 minutes ago

1.6million households worried about payments over winter as mortgage holiday scheme closes; JRF warns that without… https://t.co/i7vpXQxP8c
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page