Immersive Learning For Higher Education
Immersion is an important thing to consider when preparing for a class. Students need to be able to engage with the work they are presented with to truly understand and internalize it. To this end, educators need to ensure that their work never ventures too far into obscurity – it must be immediately applicable to their students.
Modern technologies have opened up new doors that educators should take full advantage of. These technologies range from the fairly mundane to the extraordinary – from tablets and digital notebooks to Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.
At first, these technological innovations may seem incredibly daunting to incorporate into education, but they are, in fact, indicators of the future of education. These tools see increasing use, especially since distance learning (an essential part of education as it currently stands) becomes more prominent and crucial.
How are all of these new features integrated with higher education, and how have they affected it as a whole?
Main Components of Immersive Learning
The term “immersive learning” can mean many things. When we refer to it here, we mean any form of teaching and learning that incorporates using one or more modern technology pieces to assist in the educational cycle.
These pieces of technology include (but are not limited to):
- Virtual Reality (VR): This allows students to assume an avatar’s role to complete assigned tasks and projects.
- Augmented Reality (AR): Like VR, augmented reality instead digitizes parts of a student’s immediate environment, or enhances them through similar means, thereby creating a far more immersive atmosphere for the learner.
- Mixed Reality (MR): Exactly as it sounds, mixed reality makes use of both AR and VR technologies, allowing for objects both real and digital to interact and co-exist in real-time.
- 3-D Immersive Learning: An alternative to all the other “realities” we have already listed, 3-D immersive learning promotes the use of both visualizations and simulations to immerse learners effectively.
Challenges For Educators
Especially with regards to higher education, many teachers and professors remain trapped by the confines of tradition and conservative teaching methods. Specifically, many of these educators prefer to teach in a very didactic way – they want to stand in front of their class and have all eyes and ears trained on them.
Of course, this is not efficient for distance learning, which has quickly become the norm. The main challenge for modern technologies and their ways of immersing students is not the technologies themselves but rather the faculty of many higher education centers who struggle to get on board with these innovations.
It is clear that technology is only going to become even more prevalent within education as a whole as time goes on. However, we cannot possibly hope to cover every single possibility, as more and more ideas and theories are being posited every day.