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Benefits of E-learning and VR

e-Learning + VR-01

When we started filming and selling Virtual Reality we, like most newbie’s to VR, lacked a clear understanding of its advantages and disadvantages over regular video for training. Not only did we lack know-how and experience but also the state of the technique was immature. We simply didn’t know the benefits of e-learning and VR. Therefore, it was hard to assess what was feasible both technically and financially.

Currently, the possibilities, limitations and feasibility of VR applications are much clearer. The technique has evolved to become easier to create, easier to operate and much less cost-intensive. 

However, whether you are up to date with the state of the art VR technique’s or not, it can be confusing when to use VR. And, maybe even more important, when not to use VR. To try and make this clearer, this article provides a model and examples that illustrate when VR is useful compared to other learning methods.

Alternatives To Virtual Reality Training

To assess when VR is useful, it is important to start with all possible alternatives and see how they compare. In many cases, it rings true that every advantage has a disadvantage associated with it. Therefore, it often means finding the right trade-off between cost, quality and learning goals.

Classroom Learning

When dreaming of cool and innovative new ways to teach it can be easy to forget the most classical and traditional way of teaching: a lecture. This has many disadvantages over online training but has the human touch which both can be useful and pleasant.

Advantages

  • Human interaction is not only fun it can also be very engaging, students and instructors can interact with and learn from each other.
  • Peer to peer learning is an important component of learning, the classroom allows for pushing the boundaries of the knowledge of the teacher and your peers.
  • External motivation due to other students. Some people need to be surrounded by people who are learning to keep them motivated. Others prefer to be able to move at their own pace.
  • Custom-tailored to specific questions, needs or experiences.

Disadvantages

  • No way to repeat training individually for rehearsal or when somebody missed the lecture.
  • Students have to be geographically located together.
  • The teacher has to attend (and be paid) every time.
  • Inconsistency in information disclosure when a teacher is replaced by another teacher or when different groups have different teachers.
  • Human interaction exists only if students create interactions during class

E-learning

E-learnings (both text and/or video-based) have some major advantages over traditional lectures. With its advantages come great benefits and it usually does the job perfectly well.

Advantages

  • Possibility to repeat training individually for rehearsal or when somebody missed the lecture.
  • The teacher has only to attend (and be paid) during the recording of the training.
  • Consistency in information disclosure because all students get the exact same course.
  • Learning Analytics of students behaviour
  • Students can follow the course on a laptop, phone or desktop and do not have to be geographically located together
  • Students can interact with and learn from each other in writing. All questions can be posted in a thread so all others can see them and it can cumulatively build up. It takes more time to write something than to speak so people might be reluctant to contribute.
  • Students can control the pace of the subject. Some students need more time than others. Therefore, for the faster students, it may feel like a drag when they are forced to move at the same speed as others. Given that some people are overconfident and tend to move too slow, this advantage is partly compensated for.

Disadvantages

  • No direct human interaction.
  • Internal motivation to perform well when not surrounded by other students.
  • Not custom-tailored to specific questions, needs or experiences. If you have a good teacher, he or she can custom tailor content to the specific needs of the individual or group.

Virtual Reality

VR shares many pro’s and cons with regular e-learning but also differs in a few ways. Mainly, the hardware requirements are a disadvantage. The power of experience is the most important advantage.

Advantages

  • Possibility to repeat training individually for rehearsal or when missed.
  • Teacher has only to attend (and be paid) during recording of the training.
  • Consistency in information disclosure because all students get the exact same course.
  • Students do not have to be geographically located together.
  • Students can interact with and learn from each other in writing. All questions can be posted in a thread so all others can see them and it can cumulatively build up. It takes more time to write something than to speak so people might be reluctant to contribute.
  • High engagement rate. Overall, VR displayed an improved learning experience when compared to traditional and video learning methods. Some studies also found a higher engagement rate for students in VR when compared to lectures and e-learning.
  • High retention rate. According to a number of studies, the long term retention rate of VR education is higher among students. Therefore, VR is not only a good way to illustrate knowledge, but also to make it stick.

Disadvantages

  • Hardware availability. The physical and geographical struggle of making sure the VR devices are in the right place at the right time. Nationally, this can usually be no problem but for international teams, this can be a challenge.
  • Cardboards can be used, but they have poor quality.
  • Can not ask open answers questions (yet). Currently, only multiple-choice questions are usually asked because writing text in VR is annoying and very time-consuming. (You could record audio when students answer questions. This is time-consuming to listen back. The audio files could also be transcribed in the future. But transcribing audio in VR is already possible although it still has a lot of difficulties.

Why Integrate E-learning and VR

In accordance with the comparisons above. It is clear that e-learning and virtual reality provides the best experience in learning. It can be applied to school education and also business training. The chart below illustrates the benefits of VR in corporate training

So if you already use e-learning with the aid of an LMS, then you are just one step away from the best solution. Integrating your LMS with VR is very easy. Read Here on How to integrate your LMS with VR.

Conclusion

There are multiple ways of transferring knowledge from an instructor to a learner. The most effective way is the combination of E-learning and VR. This method proves to have the highest engagement rate and retention rate.

Smart VR Lab develops and produces training content for businesses across multiple industries. To transform your business, simply contact Smart VR Lab for a demo and set up a meeting with our team. If you have questions on anything related to VR, you can always send us a mail to info@smartvrlab.nl

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