Immersive learning is considered the future of education, and research already backs this up. The main thing that introduces a game-changing aspect in the use of immersive learning is that of incorporating a more hands-on approach to the learning environment. Unlike before, the integration of technology in the teaching and learning dynamics now promises a better and more effective learning experience that potentially has no drawbacks.
In the classroom, immersive learning entails the use of a simulated environment that highly encourages students to have a more engaging and participative role in the learning process. Right from the start, the possibilities and benefits of having an artificial learning environment are endless.
Top 10 reasons to take immersive learning into your classroom
Research actually places VR learning as one of the most profound immersive learning resources in education, with promising results. The specifics of how immersive learning enhances education are extensive, but here are the top 10 reasons to take immersive learning into your classroom. They include:
A hands-on approach to learning
The first reason why you need to take immersive learning into the classroom is one that guarantees a hands-on approach in the learning process. Old techniques of learning do not readily have the students interact with the physical environment. Instead, assimilation of concepts and knowledge concerning a particular subject is left to the imagination. With immersive learning, like virtual reality and augmented reality, the need for imagination is bypassed, and students are introduced to simulated environments as realistic as the actual world. Students can take what they learn in class and directly apply it to such an environment.
Read more: How can teachers use VR in the classroom?
Student learning at all levels
The best way to approach learning is by accommodating all the students in the classroom, but that is not usually the case in a typical classroom setting. Some students are definitely smarter and more intelligent than others, and that means the less-intelligent group is usually left out of the fold. Using immersive learning, however, can offset that. More often than not, learning is usually a personal activity. Thus, using augmented reality and virtual reality offers all students an equal opportunity to individually explore simulated environments, eventually, supporting student learning at their own pace.
Cultivation of curiosity and wonder
Using technology to recreate scenes that existed long ago or that are impossible to tour in actuality presents a unique opportunity that promotes curiosity and intrigue in every student. Who wouldn’t want a chance to travel to Mars, go underwater, or see first-hand how the human heart looks like from the inside? Immersive learning can recreate any environment in the known universe, and given a chance to explore such spaces in a realistic and captivating nature would ideally cultivate the curiosity and intrigue to learn.
Read more: 5 useful VR apps for the modern classroom
Mastery of craft and skills
Enabling students to master their skills in a certain subject, like engineering and medicine, means subjecting them to actual practice and getting them to use what they have learned from theory. Immersive learning, like mixed reality and augmented reality, not only simulates actual environments but also allows students to interact with objects in that environment. Purposeful interactions translate to individual decision-making that has actual consequences in the real world. Concurrently, when students make mistakes, they can readily learn from such mistakes and eventually master their skills. Apart from that, most of the immersive learning content usually involves guided rehearsals that can be used as many times as required.
Immersive learning takes theory into a practice-oriented approach. That means, having what you know from theory and experiencing it in a simulated environment. Through personal engagement and repeated interaction in an environment that has the student invested emotionally, accelerated learning is inevitable.
Solidifying an understanding of abstract concepts
When students are allowed to practice and experience what they learn in class in a simulation embedded in that actual context, concepts become easily reinforced.
Enhancement of the teaching experience
Taking immersive learning into your classroom is not only beneficial for your students but also for you as the teacher. Now, instead of relying solely on the theoretical concepts you impart on young minds, you can integrate virtual reality, mixed reality, or gamification in the learning to supplement the content you primarily teach.
Learning through actual practice and experience
Immersive learning is profound since it takes reality to the classroom. It offers an excellent substitute to the real world but without the dangers that come with it. Students can, thus, have a semblance of real-life experience where they can make individual decisions without having to worry about disastrous consequences. It is the perfect atmosphere that promotes curiosity, intrigue, and actually takes care of the learning capacity of individual students.
A learning experience free from distractions
In the typical classroom setting, distractions, both exterior and within the classroom, are numerous. They only impede the learning process by diverting the students’ attention, making them miss important concepts. They highly negate the students’ focus and attention in the learning process. Integrating immersive learning, nevertheless, takes the full attention and focus of the student due to the personalized education experience. Immersive learning, most of the time, also takes intriguing aspects from interesting activities, mainly from video games, and incorporates them into the simulations. That specific aspect keeps the students captivated as they learn away from the usual distractions.
The development of collaborative and team-building skills
Lastly, another particularly important reason why taking immersive learning into your classroom is one concerned with developing the skills of collaboration and team-work. That also applies to students who are significantly farther apart from one another. In such instances, students come together in a shared platform that allows them not only to learn but also work together through similar interactions classroom interactions. Virtual environments allow opportunities for such different students to role-play, while they exchange essential knowledge and information. That, eventually, promotes collaboration and team-building, which students use later in life, after school.
Technology has made immersive learning a reality rather than an impossible notion. You can adopt various ways to make this possible in the classroom, including incorporating virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, and gamification. Remember that integrating this form of learning in the classroom is for students’ benefits, and the return on investment is inherently rewarding, eventually.
Fazreen Razeek from Edarabia.com has served the education industry for over 5 years. He collaborates and works alongside education-marketing agencies, event organizers, and educational Institutions ranging from nurseries, schools, and universities to develop and execute their marketing strategies. He is extremely passionate about education technology and also writes for various local and international publications. A graduate with High Distinction from the Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, Fazreen holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Marketing & Management.