Today in the world, there is a catastrophic growth of information that needs to be processed to support progress in the development of modern science. Given the amount of data growth in the world, the usual way of teaching requires continuous improvement in efficiency. This can be achieved by supplementing the learning process with virtual reality technology. Scientists believe that the proper use of virtual reality will help to develop the natural potentials and talents of students, as well as more effectively absorb the educational material. Virtual reality technology will greatly facilitate the learning process, thanks to which it is possible to master new rules and topics much faster and more successfully. What is virtual reality and how it is used in the educational process, we will discuss today with Pro-Papers experts.
Virtual reality in the educational process acts as one of the promising methods of modern information technologies. Virtual reality is modeled by a computer and is considered as a special information environment in which all objects are presented in three dimensions. A distinctive feature of this environment is the change of images in real time and experience the effect of presence. It imitates both the effect and the reaction to the effect. In the educational process, virtual reality can serve as a method, tool and technology of learning at the same time.
Among the devices simulating a virtual reality (glasses, helmet, gloves, 3D mice, etc.), glasses are the most accessible. They are a display with its own processor and software. When a person puts on such glasses, everything he/she sees is a virtual world.
The use of virtual reality technology in education provides the following benefits:
- Visibility – thanks to three-dimensional graphics, you can show a variety of processes in detail. Students receive not only information about the phenomenon, but also see it with the maximum degree of detail. This is very important for better assimilation of information in biology, physics and anatomy lessons;
- Safety – a student is fully immersed in the educational process, is in the center of events, while there is no threat to health and life;
- Maximum immersion – with the help of a joystick and special controllers you can not only observe, but also move in virtual reality, control various processes, which gives new opportunities for practical training in such areas as aerospace and medicine;
- Focus – a student is fully focused on the educational process. It is very important to study various physical, chemical and biological phenomena: the structure of the atom, the process of transmission of electrical current through electrons, etc.
The effectiveness of the use of virtual reality in the educational process was demonstrated by a scientific experiment, which proved that the use of virtual reality technology contributes to a better absorption of the material. Thus, according to the study, only 8.5% of respondents did not learn the material presented by means of virtual reality technology. Moreover, research shows that the use of such technologies helps to improve students’ perseverance in the classroom, to focus their attention, concentration and improve their performance.
The areas of application of virtual reality technology in education can be represented as follows:
- visualization of complex objects, models of engineering structures, physical phenomena;
- organization of interdisciplinary integration and networking of educational institutions;
- teleconferences, video conferencing, educational broadcasting;
- creation of 3D electronic educational resources;
- the creation of virtual museums, planetariums, lecture halls, laboratories and workshops.
Using virtual reality in education allows teachers to visually conduct lectures and seminars, conduct trainings, show students all aspects of a real object or process, which generally has a tremendous effect, improves the quality and speed of educational processes, and reduces their cost. Virtual reality technology makes it possible to fully use that fact that a person receives 80% of information from the outside world with the help of vision, while people remember 20% of what they see, 40% of what they see and hear, and 70% of what they see, hear and do.
In addition to the effective introduction of educational material in the classroom, the layout of virtual reality systems together with various elements of training technologies (chairs on hydraulic drives, platforms, control systems with feedback, tracking, etc.) allows to create simulators and attractions with a high adequacy ratio (immersion). For example, the use of stereo-visualization is extremely necessary for the training of pilots, since when refueling in the air or landing, you need a sense of perspective and distribution. The perception of the depth and three-dimensionality of information is crucial for the remote control of apparatuses – bathyscaphs, various robots and unmanned aerial vehicles, etc.
In the university educational process, using computer technology educational information systems plays a very important role, since their use increases the efficiency of the learning process. The training of professional firefighters and rescue personnel requires special methods and technologies, the effectiveness of which should be constantly improved. Simulation of both training centers and assault courses allows you to work out the basic skills for emergency response, but such complexes are very expensive and have a narrow focus. It is impossible to build a visual, physical model of a large-scale disaster in a different way without using virtual reality. Modern medical education is also unthinkable without visualization of studies of human internal organs.
A huge direction of virtual reality technology in science is the visualization of complex and disparate data into a single, visual model of the object or process under study, which allows students to fully use their intuition and visual memory in various studies, for example, in biology (life sciences), historical reconstructions.
In general, the possibilities of virtual reality technology for education and researches have an extremely high potential for use.