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The Rise Of Virtual Reality (VR) Immersive Education In Australia And Overseas

At Team Creative, we know firsthand the power of immersive learning VR technology. As a team, we have used VR to create breakthrough immersive learning solutions and careers experiences in Melbourne for use across Australia and beyond. In this article, we will explore the background of immersive learning with VR and its benefits for students.

VR education and careers programs are entering schools across the world with fascinating and powerful results. And Australia is leading the way. At Team Creative we have spent three years building the brand and helping to develop VR programs for  Melbourne (Australia) virtual reality education and careers innovator, Mindflight7. Now, the company is flagging requests for its services and products from countries across the globe. Why is that?

VR is a powerful immersive learning platform

Virtual Reality is well known in the world of gaming and much of its provenance in this entertainment area has been translated into new and engaging VR education experiences and learning programs. This shift towards edutainment is the lightbulb moment for this new immersive model for teaching which emphasises engagement and self discovery and tunes in on the way people of all kinds and all ages prefer to learn and retain information. VR provides an entirely new and incredibly exciting opportunity for wonderfully effective and engaging immersive learning in education through gamification elements.

But there is more.

Another major secret to its success as a learning method is VR’s ability to combine a person’s key sensory information gathering methods: seeing, hearing, reading, writing and doing (hands-on) in any learning experience. Think about what methods you use to subconsciously take in information or what sensory systems make you most engaged? Whatever learning method you prefer, it can be built into any immersive education program or experience.

Uses Of Immersive Learning VR In Education

Imagine a VR experience that could allow students in a Melbourne classroom to explore the Roman Colosseum as if they had travelled for 24 hours (or almost 2000 years to see the newly built version) to get there. They would be able to walk through the space, experience the epic scale, zoom in to details of the engineering and design, even watch construction – all from their classroom.

This experience would allow for use in subjects such as languages (immersion bilingual education) history and design. As a history experience, the Colosseum visit could help a student learn important dates about its construction, in context, adding to its significance and relevance. The student could virtually walk through a timeline of events in the history of the Colosseum construction (70 to 80 AD) and beyond, as well as entering any one of those moments to experience the event taking place. Imagine being there for the grand opening as Titus inaugurates the structure and opens it to the people. Having this first hand experience through VR gives a student an empathetic response to the event and will be more likely to remember it long after.

Or perhaps students studying biology, healthcare or general science might learn how a heart works in VR. They could stand in a space with a huge beating heart, the size of a fridge, hovering in front of them while a voiceover and text provides information on the heart chambers and blood flows.

As the voice is heard and the text seen, areas related to the voice and text information are highlighted on the heart itself, providing a visual link to the verbal and text information. The student is getting multi-dimensional representations of the information concurrently, assisting their retention and ability to remember those details. Once this part of the VR experience is finished, the student can then perform open heart surgery in a clinical environment.

As a method of immersion, virtual reality is not only helping school students learn through immersion, but also university students, employees and the elderly. It is never too late to learn and VR is a fantastic, extremely effective new tool that can accelerate that learning for anyone, no matter their age. Talk to us at Team Creative today about your VR development and immersive learning program needs.

Frequently Asked Questions: Immersive Learning with AR And VR

1. What is the benefit of using immersive learning in VR over traditional learning methods?

In many cases VR is astoundingly more effective than traditional learning methods – and  this applies for all learner types. As a fully immersive learning platform, virtual reality, when it is done well, utilizes gamification techniques, self discovery formats, multi-sensory, physical interaction and unlimited imagination (as described in the article above) to supercharge any learning concept or idea into a valuable, intriguing experience. The way any idea was taught in the past can be entirely changed and turned into a physical experience that is completely different to reading a book, listening to a lecture or whatever the previous teaching method might have been.

VR can be applied to any subject or learning objective, with a gamified aspect providing a potentially more exciting, engaging and fun experience for students. Not only that, VR has no physical, safety or time boundaries. Whether a teacher wants to discuss gravity in a zero gravity environment, talk about carbonisation of the sea from underwater, train to drive a forklift, feel what it is like to work in confined spaces or travel back in time to walk with the dinosaurs, any educational or work experience concept can be developed into a highly compelling virtual reality experience.

Because VR allows for information retention in a number of concurrent ways at once, it also works well for any type of learning preference, making it an excellent learning choice for everyone including neuro-diverse individuals.

2. Do I need special equipment to provide immersive learning solutions?

To provide immersive learning with AR and VR you will need to purchase a virtual reality headset (sometimes called goggles) and you will need to access educational VR learning programs from an App Store such as the Meta Quest Store for Oculus Quest 2 devices or have a VR developer such as Team Creative make one for you.

We believe that purchasing a VR headset (or a range of them) is an excellent investment for all learning and all learners. From our cutting edge view of educational VR with our client, Mindflight7, we can see that immersive VR, AR and MR will soon become the norm in schools in Melbourne and across the world. The VR Room is the new computer room!

3. How many ways can immersive VR improve learning outcomes?

As a business in Melbourne, Team Creative is front and centre in the immersive education revolution. As mentioned on this site, we are the creative team behind the world-first VR education and careers innovator, Mindflight7 – a Melbourne brand that is quickly grabbing global attention. In our time working with Mindflight7 and on other immersive VR projects, we have identified eight specific ways that immersive learning in education can accelerate and improve learning outcomes:

  1. It’s amazingly engaging: when you put on a VR headset, you enter an entirely new world. And that world can be anything and anywhere and represent any time in history or any place you might like to go. And you can do things while you are there. You can swim underwater, fly a spacecraft to Mars, perform heart surgery or even run around inside the workings of a computer looking for a sneaky virus! When you are immersed in such an imaginative interactive environment you are primed and excited – ready to receive new information and discover. This high level of engagement assists learning and makes it easier. VR gives you genuine engagement as well helping to motivate students to continue studies.
  2. VR lets you actually do it: Doing it is better than just watching, reading or hearing about it. With VR you get to experience and undertake the task in a virtual environment. In the real world the same tasks might be impossible to take part in for safety, time, distance or cost reasons. All these barriers to experience are removed in VR.
  3. You remember it much better: whatever you might be learning, with an immersive learning platform like VR your memories will be stronger than traditional learning methods. VR artificially creates a phenomenon that we describe at Team Creative as ‘full body’ memories. For example, after you get off that spacecraft, your mind and your body has memories of having gone into space and done things physically like fixing a satellite panel. So you’ve experienced the presence of that celestial environment and done some cool stuff with the Russians and your mind believes it and your body does too because you were moving and making actions. Your mind is left with the impression that you’ve been somewhere and done something. You’ve made memories just like ones you might make in the real world work experience. All that is super powerful.
  4. You can move at your own pace: No one is watching over your shoulder when you are learning in VR. You don’t have any social performance pressure and can take things at a pace that suits you, not everyone else. This removes anxiety that may be present in other learning environments, relaxes the mind and makes it easier to learn and retain information.
  5. You can make errors: In VR there are no consequences for accidentally killing your heart surgery patient, creation an explosion on a chemistry lab or sending a wrecking ball into the wrong building from your crane. This allows a participant in a VR education program or experience to make any of those major mistakes in a safe, fully controlled environment, where no person, animal or thing can be harmed.
  6. Multiple senses are activated at once: when your senses (such as sight, hearing and touch (including movements)) are activated simultaneously as they are in VR, they record representations of the same thing in their different ways. This means that there is more than one neurological pathway to the memory – it was seen, a kinesthetic task was completed and relevant written and audio information was absorbed. The result is better memory retention and recall, even for complex tasks.
  7. Concepts become places: often teachers struggle to explain complex or abstract ideas such as equations or molecular structure. A video explanation might be a bit better but the complexity remains. If the teacher is not animated or enthusiastic or energized, the whole thing can be dull and uninspiring to a student. When we study the structure of an atom its an abstract concept – we see a few circles in another bigger circle and the circles apparently do different things. That is a hard slog to make exciting in traditional learning. But what if we took the students INTO the atom? What if a student could study an atom from WITHIN? The idea (an atom) suddenly becomes A PLACE we can experience. That represents a tectonic shift. This is a huge and incredibly exciting breakthrough in the way we can teach concepts to students of any age.
  8. VR learning is lots of fun: when you are lucky enough to immerse yourself in a great VR educational experience, no matter what you are learning, it is simply fun! Some imagination in the VR idea and development, mixed with excellent instructional design, unexpected surprises, discovery and gamification tricks, along with compelling visuals and sound all makes for a very memorable, highly motivational, exciting learning experience.

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