Immersive Learning for Higher Education
Immersion is an essential thing to consider when preparing for a class. Learners need to engage with the work they are presented with to understand and internalize it.
Contemporary technologies have opened up new doors that educators should take full advantage of. These technologies range from the mundane to the extraordinary: from tablets and digital notebooks to AI and VR.
At first, these tech innovations may seem daunting to incorporate into education, but they are indicators of the future of education. These apps see increasing use, even more so now that distance learning has become prominent and crucial.
How are all of these features integrated with higher education? How have they affected it as a whole?
Key Elements of Immersive Learning
The phrase “immersive learning” can mean many things. When we discuss immersive learning here, we mean teaching and learning that uses one or more bits of contemporary tech to assist in the educational process.
These pieces of tech include (but are not limited to):
- Virtual Reality (VR): Allows learners to assume an avatar’s role to finish assigned tasks and projects.
- Augmented Reality (AR): Like VR, AR digitizes parts of a learner’s immediate ecosystem, or enhances them through similar means, thereby creating a far more immersive atmosphere.
- Mixed Reality (MR): Mixed reality uses AR and VR technologies, allowing for real and digital objects to interact and co-exist.
- 3-D Immersive Learning: Another option to all the other “realities” we have listed, 3-D immersive learning promotes the use of visualizations and simulations to immerse learners effectively.
Challenges for Educators
Especially regarding higher education, most educators and professors remain trapped by the confines of tradition and conservative teaching methods. Specifically, most of these educators prefer to teach in a didactic way; they want to stand in front of their classroom and have everyone look at them.
This is not effective for distance learning, which has become the norm. The main challenge for contemporary technologies and their ways of immersing learners is not the technologies themselves, but rather the faculty of most higher education centers who struggle to get on board with these innovations.
As time goes on, tech will only become even more prevalent within education. We cannot possibly hope to cover all of its potential now, as more ideas and theories are being posited daily.