Based on research conducted at the University of Copenhagen, virtual reality (VR) is increasingly becoming a more permanent part of how students learn in the classroom.
VR is already incorporated in some classrooms today . The solution is used to give students the opportunity to “enter 3-dimmenstional, simulated places and situations that they would normally not have access to” due to high price tags, the dangerousness of an environment, or the physical impossibility of entering into an environment, such as the human blood stream (which students have done in order to learn about the human body).
The University of Cophenhagen anticipates that VR technology will be extremely affordable in the next few years, that that it will be available for 15 million students across the world by 2025. The university is also finding that VR is more “engaging and can lead to better learning outcomes compared to traditional methods.”
Additionally, studies have found that while VR proves to enhance students’ learning opportunities in the classroom, boys and girls learn differently with VR solutions. For example, studies done by VR researcher Guido Makransky found that girls learned better in VR simulations, especially when the VR-teacher was “a young female researcher named Marie;” contrastingly, boys learned better “while being instructed by a flying robot in the form of a drone.” He also found that the younger students were, the more they felt they could relate to their VR-teacher.
While more research on VR and its effectiveness on teaching students in the classroom needs to be done, Makransky says that what he’s found so far is a good indicator of where VR will trend in education.
“We can see that students´ ability to identify with the pedagogical agent improves their level of learning,” he said. “This gives us an exciting possibility to actually make education more appealing to the students….In our opinion VR-program designers should use this knowledge to incorporate different types of pedagogical agents in VR for different types of students.”