Given its great potential for research, learning, and innovation, it is easy to simplify or ignore the complexities of installing a Virtual Reality Lab (VR) in a workspace. But creating such a lab is not a feat to be taken lightly.
Before investing in this exciting new technology, it is worth considering the viability of VR in relation to its objectives and resources.
In this guide, we will guide you through each of these considerations to ensure you make the smartest decision regarding investing in a Virtual Reality Lab. The following are the six steps you must follow to develop your plan for creating a Virtual Reality Lab.
Steps for Creating a Virtual Reality Lab
- Select your Use Cases / Educational Goals
- Design the layout of your space
- Find a team
- Create or buy content
- Connect to the data collection system or LMS
- Educate students and staff
The eLearning industry is about making use of advanced technologies to enhance the learning experience. In the end, the basic objective is to make learning an easy and fun task.
Achieving that goal without incorporating the latest technological tools is practically impossible, especially since we are totally immersed in the digital age. Thus, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have been introduced slowly but surely in the eLearning sector for some time.
These additions have been warmly accepted by modern students because of the many benefits they offer.
There were a lot of reasons that led to the creation of this dedicated space for students to work on Augmented Reality, Virtual and Mixed projects.
The process of designing your Virtual Reality Lab can be difficult. However, we will show you how you can build your own RV/AR lab and give you some examples of existing labs.
With this in mind, you can create a valuable environment for research, training and collaboration using RV/AR.
The key is to understand the role that VR/HR will play in your work.
By following the steps described in this guide, you can design the optimal space to achieve your ambitious research and education goals.
Selection of your use cases / Objectives
Many dangerous and simply high-risk operations on Earth also employ VR/AR as part of their practice. Military, firefighters, railroad maintenance and many more simulators are used to prepare apprentices to make quick decisions in stressful situations, all without harming or endangering people as it used to be with traditional training methods. Flaim Systems is one of the suppliers of this technology that uses real-life equipment, jackets with built-in heating elements to simulate fire and a hose that provides realistic feedback. This is both far and very close to the game simulations that people can enjoy on their PCs.
In selecting your use cases and objectives, it is important that you focus on the benefits you want to give to your students and staff. Whatever your pedagogical objectives, you will need to concentrate on how you can use VR/RA to get your students there. Here are a couple of benefits that virtual reality will provide to achieve these goals:
Appeal to a variety of learning styles. Offer experiences that promote repetition and retention. Eliminating risks and safety concerns. Reduce training budget and provide scalability. Deliver results to a wide range of industries. Eliminating Time and Travel from the Equation.
With this in mind, think about the pedagogical objective and what is the greatest limitation to achieving it. From there, you can build your VR/AR environment to counteract that limitation based on the benefits mentioned above.
A good way to list your goals would be to start first with the pedagogical goals and the pedagogical objectives of your subject. Looking at each individual goal and each objective, limitations are listed in the instructional and assessment part of your pedagogy. What is the most critical activity that has the most limitations to practice? Once this is completed, you will have the best starting point for your use cases. To understand this, see the fire fighting example below:
At the end of the course students will be able to students will be able to students will be able to assess the emergency making quick decisions within the first 5 seconds in high stress situations. The goal is limited by the risk and cost of doing a real practice.
Instead of assessments with real instructors, a digital environment is created with timely data collected between tasks, decisions made, and follow-up reports.
The student will be instructed through video, as well as in the classroom with discussions and reading materials.
Things to avoid
A possible pitfall of SBE (Simulation Based Education) is negative learning; inappropriate design of the simulator or simulation can give unwanted messages to the student. If physical signs such as sweating and changes in skin color are missing, students may begin to ignore these signs or consider them unimportant. With simulated events, they may also be tempted to use shortcuts such as skipping patient consent and safety procedures. This can lead to habitual unsafe behaviors, such as not wearing protective gloves and reusing previously opened intravenous fluid bags or expired medications. Students can also learn to communicate artificially rather than genuinely as a result of interacting with simulated patients.
Another real consideration is student safety. Immersion simulations aim to create a sense of “being there,” but they can be confrontational (such as traumatic situations) and leave participants angry, upset, shocked, or frustrated. These feelings must be skillfully handled by appropriate debriefing.
Adequate training of instructors can, to some extent, address these problems, but the additional resources needed can be a limiting factor in the application of the SBE.