9 February

Immersive Learning and the Metaverse

What is Immersive Learning?

Immersive learning provides learners with simulated environments and various scenarios of which they can interact and engage. There is a vast range of choices when carrying out immersive learning: VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) which combined is XR (Extended Reality). The use of XR is an effective way for learners to develop their skills and knowledge. Furthermore, it provides learners with a hazard-free space where activities can be repeated and learning transfer can be measured through several data points.

The Benefits of Immersive Learning

Immersive learning can be beneficial for all age groups, in any stage of education, as it provides endless opportunities for learning. By creating scenarios, educators can begin to close the disparity between learning theory and practical application. Engaging and stimulating environments eradicates monotony during learning interventions, creating an improved experience for learners.

Below outlines some of the main benefits of using immersive learning:

  • Increased engagement & motivation as learning is brought to life
  • Access to information in the flow of work
  • The ability to endlessly practice activities in a safe space
  • Adaptable to meet the needs of each learner
  • The learning experience can be monitored & measured
  • Distraction & hazard free environment
  • Increased knowledge retention

Some studies conducted in classrooms in China has shown that VR immersive learning can hugely impact test results. The graph below outlines the impact VR had on the students pass rates. Due to the vivid and interactive experience that is created by VR, the students’ ability to understand and memorise information was enhanced. (Durbin, 2016)

What is the Metaverse?

Simply put, the Metaverse will be a virtual world which can be accessed through avatars. This concept was announced by Meta (formally known as Facebook) in October 2021. This mergence of the virtual and physical world is planned to take place using AR and VR technology.

How will the Metaverse impact Immersive Learning?

The introduction of the Metaverse is a huge game-changer for immersive learning. Vast opportunities within the space are opening, allowing educators to create exciting and engaging learning experiences. Due to the pandemic, there has been a rapid global shift in the way students learn.

  • The metaverse will add another element to immersive learning, where classes can easily be delivered and accessed in a virtual setting.
  • By using avatars, these environments will allow for interactivity between students, educators, and 3D objects, encouraging student to learn with others at a time and place convenient to them.
  • Furthermore, by delivering interactive content it creates a more inclusive and accessible learning experience, catering for multiple learner preferences.

However, lifting barriers in one area of learning can inadvertently create new ones for students. In a time where technology has become more of a necessity than a luxury, it will become imperative that students have access to the learning tech to ensure an equal experience for all students.

The Next Step

To create a beneficial immersive learning experience, expertise from many fields is required. This includes:

  • Instructional designers
  • UX designers
  • Data scientists
  • Filmmakers
  • Sound designers

As technology advances, so does the EdTech industry, with new and exciting opportunities being created daily. With our university credit-rated programmes in Digital Learning Design and Instructional Design, you can start or advance your career as a specialist in digital learning design.

References