VR and AR in Education & Training – 2022 and Beyond

Recently, we have seen a meteoric rise in interest or perhaps just plain curiosity in the field known today as Extended Reality or XR technology. The introduction of the Oculus Virtual Reality headset in 2010 and the game Pokémon GO in 2016 were game changers, as they allowed users to enter into a virtual world and interact with virtual objects. Today we have Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR), to represent different and increasing levels of combinations of the real and virtual worlds.  Moreover VR and AR applications can now run on mobile devices such as smartphones or a tablet PC.

XR-based tools and applications  have seen increased uses in fields such as healthcare, engineering, basic science, lab research, tourism, logistics, military, police, manufacturing, and HR training to name a few. In the education and training realms, VR and AR show the greatest promise because there is already wide acceptance of both technologies in gaming, streaming, and esports.

Researchers and practitioners are finding new ways to use  XR technology. This development has led to predictions that XR and associated technologies will reach mass adoption by 2025 or sooner. The question that needs to be asked therefore is XR for real ?

Nursing Students With VR Headset
A MR Nursing Lab Setup; Gracanin et al, 2018

Implications for Practice

While VR and AR can be used for skills development, career improvement, and operational readiness in a wide variety of learning contexts, there are a few points to consider when evaluating them for possible implementation.
They are:

  1. Adoption and Readiness: VR and AR applications can have a bit of a learning curve. Therefore it is highly recommended that the skill level of potential users and supporters of the XR and VR applications be ascertained before a go/no-go decision is made.
  2. Scope and Timing: It is also important for those who are involved in the decision to implement a VR and AR application to fully understand the scope of  the problem to be fixed. In addition, the timing of any proposed implementation needs to be carefully studied for suitability and compatibility and  with new  or existing endeavors.
  3. Pedagogy and Program Delivery: VR and AR tools can be linked to learner-centric pedagogies such as experiential and hands-on learning. However, a disadvantage is the time commitment that learner-centric pedagogy requires. A blended or fully online delivery approach can help mitigate some aspects of the time commitment involved in implementing VR and AR applications, particularly in a workplace setting.
  4. Cost/Benefits: The price of VR and AR related tools have come down significantly in the past few years. However the key cost of implementing those technologies in a learning or training context will be mostly personnel, time, and administration. Major benefits include increased productivity, risk reduction, innovation and creativity. So the net benefit of implementing a VR or AR application in a learning context needs to be carefully examined.

We, at Brightspokes Learning, know that technology is not always the answer in human development or process improvement endeavors. So, we always take a holistic view of ALL of our learning or training activities. Our first task is to ensure that our interventions will have a positive ROI. We also strive to help our partners gain the most out of their investments in all relevant areas. We do this through a laser focus attention on delivering results that will improve the bottom line and support our partners’ mission, culture, and plans for the future.

Contact us to find out how we can help you “Soar Higher” now and in the future!

Author: Patrick Guilbaud, PhD :: Email Me

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