This refers to the use of virtual reality as a learning aid in the classroom. The idea behind this is that visual exploration via technology such as this will help students to better understand a range of subjects as part of the curriculum.
Students have a range of options with this technology which include explore, manipulate, interpret, select or change in order to acquire knowledge and understanding. Plus it helps with social and communication skills as well.
This can take the form of semi- or fully immersive virtual reality although it is more likely to be a desktop solution, e.g. computer, joystick and keyboard as this is less expensive than a full CAVE system. But this set up still enables interaction to take place and within a virtual environment.
Benefits of virtual reality assisted learning
Plus what it also does is to allow students to engage in new forms of learning and experience that they have never previously experienced. One example is astronomy: students can learn about the planets by viewing these at different angles, zooming in and out and changes in the solar system, for example a solar eclipse.
Another use is special needs. If you have students with special needs then virtual reality can be used to help them with learning skills which many of us take for granted. For example, students with Asperger’s Syndrome can be taught social skills such as turn-taking, sharing, listening and taking an interest in others.
As you can see there are a variety of uses for virtual reality in the classroom. But this technology is viewed as an addition to existing teaching methods and not a replacement.