Gamification: the roots of modern VR are in gaming and as such, recent educational VR experiences have been greatly influenced by the gaming world. Many VR experiences for learning have aspects of games that help to increase their engagement levels and encourage repeated use. Concepts such as ‘moving up a level’, time limits, game lives, game rewards and multiplayer versions are being used successfully to enhance engagement and promote unconscious learning.
Field Trips: Students can travel all over the world from their classrooms with VR. This has major cost and time benefits of course, but the feeling of awe when experiencing a fascinating place and its surroundings in VR is similar to the real thing, given that virtual reality provides a full, immersive physical experience.
Conceptual journeys: It is sometimes difficult for students to grasp abstract concepts, especially in maths and science. On top of this, the explanation of the concept using traditional means such as a whiteboard, books or discussion can leave students disengaged and lost. VR allows an idea or concept to become a place. In VR, geometry can be brought to life as physical objects that a student can manipulate or a body can be entered via arteries, veins and capillaries and the differences between them can be felt physically as each becomes smaller and more confined, with a different use. Suddenly a diagram about the body in a biology textbook is a place being explored. The engagement level is instantly higher for all students.
Career Inspiration: Companies such as the Australian VR education and careers trailblazer, MindFlight7, are using VR technology to help inspire students to think about subject pathways and careers they may not have yet considered. Career exploration in VR can take a student to any workplace including dangerous sites, high security zones, places that are physically or financially difficult to access or that would normally require rigorous training and qualifications before entry.