What is Immersive Learning?
The traditional classroom-based teaching methodology has a lot of limitations since it relies on an auditory and written style of learning. The approach does not cater to the unique individuality of each learner and how they learn. In contrast, immersive learning utilizes technology to engage learners. It uses simulations to create real-world situations and objects and allows the learner to experience a safe virtual environment. As a result, these simulations immerse the learner in the learning process.
Immersive learning is more stimulating than traditional learning approaches as it engages the learner’s visual and kinesthetic senses. What’s more, the wide-ranging application of immersive learning is further redefining the future of education.
So, here is a list of five reasons that showcase why immersive learning is the future of education.
- Use of Technology
In the coming era that will depend heavily on technology for almost everything, immersive learning will serve as the optimal methodology for engaging students. Immersive learning relies entirely on technology and will continually evolve to integrate newer techniques and methods. Immersive learning uses the following four technologies for accessing content and simulations.
- Virtual Reality (VR): This technology completely immerses the learner in a virtual environment through a headset.
- Augmented Reality (AR): This one immerses the learner by enhancing the learner’s real-world view with virtual elements.
- Mixed Reality (MR): MR technology combines the elements of VR and AR to make virtual and real objects interact in real-time for an immersive experience.
- Simulation Learning: This technology creates a semi-immersive experience by utilizing 3D visualizations and simulations.
Institutes worldwide are benefitting from immersive teaching tools as it completely grasps every student’s attention, especially special students. So, educators lacking training in such unconventional teaching strategies can undertake online programs that focus on special education and modern techniques such as immersive learning.
2. Experiential Learning
Traditional learning utilizes lectures to inform students about subjects and experiences. Unfortunately, this approach rarely works for all students as it requires high concentration and retention. One of the big reasons immersive learning will take over the future of education is that the approach resonates better with the current generation of students who seek experiential learning experiences.
Moreover, immersive learning in a virtual environment engages the modern-day student. For instance, students can digitally experience a physical setting to understand it rather than read about a specific geographic environment like mountains.
3. Distraction-free Environment
The advent of mobile devices and digital experiences has made the modern world full of enticing distractions. Considering the rate of technological evolution, we cannot even imagine how many more distractions there will be in the future. And how they will affect students and their ability to learn and retain information. Traditional classroom-based learning is full of distractions even in the most well-regulated settings, making it difficult for teachers to keep their students focused. Therefore, immersive learning and specifically VR is an effective solution for this as this tool allows learners to tune out the stimuli from the real world.
VR creates an environment free from distractions where learners can concentrate entirely on a particular task at hand or engross themselves in a simulated environment. Immersive learning allows students to focus on their learning experience and learn more efficiently. What’s more, research studies have found that students were four times more focused on VR learning experiences than other approaches.
4. Interactive Learning Environments
One of the reasons immersive learning is highly appreciated is its ability to engage students through participatory experiences. This aspect fulfills a shortcoming of traditional lecture-based approaches as they cannot keep students engaged for long periods. This shortcoming inhibits students’ ability to learn and retain knowledge. Immersive learning technologies create and simulate environments that allow students to learn and retain information by participation and interaction without distractions. In these interactive learning environments, students engage with objects which gives them hands-on experience. This experience is beneficial in building soft skills and operational knowledge. For example, a learner can repeat any learning exercise to acquire or master a particular skill without worrying about taking up physical resources or making mistakes.
Furthermore, interactive learning environments encourage students to participate and engage with learning resources as they must repeatedly interact to complete a task. These environments also provide a platform for students to connect with the teacher and other students in a virtual and safe setting. As a result, students can collaborate with fellows in team-building and problem-solving exercises to learn collectively. And so, the added aspect of sharing knowledge and learning results in greater immersion and participation of students.
5. Measured Learning
Immersive learning is the most measured form of learning to date. The immersive technologies used for teaching and training provide extensive analytic learning reports. These reports allow teachers and trainers to update individual students’ learning experiences and better cater to their particular needs. For example, they contain data on how long a student used the immersive learning technologies, the number of times they used them, and how many learning exercises they have completed.
They also contain additional data on students’ performance, eye contact, and body language during the learning experiences. These data are also available to the students to track their progress. These detailed insights highlight areas that the teachers and learners can work upon to enhance and accelerate the learning experience. Measurability of learning not only provides strong evidence for the proficiency of immersive learning to both the learners and the teachers, but it also quantifies learning for both sides.
Immersive learning utilizes technologies that augment reality to create interactive learning environments that promote experiential learning. These environments allow students to focus exclusively on the learning task at hand as these environments are free from real-world distractions. The lack of distractions actively engages the learners and increases the likelihood of retaining what they have learned.
Moreover, immersive learning gives instructors and learners extensive data on performance and usage. These insights and real-time feedback help track progress, measure learning, and identify future learning and improvement areas. All these aspects differentiate immersive learning from traditional lecture-based approaches and position immersive learning as the premier learning approach for education in the future.