Virtual reality grows as asset in academic, enrollment management
- EdTech Magazine profiles four ways campuses are introducing virtual reality as a tool to expand the academic enterprise. One set of glasses can provide teachers with immersive learning opportunities across the sciences and liberal arts, recruiters with campus tours at their fingertips, career placement officials with skill building initiatives, and faculty with "train-the-trainer" platforms to engage students and other teaching peers.
- Eastern Michigan and Lehigh universities are two of the institutions spotlighted for bringing VR technology into classrooms to immerse students in content visualization models, where curriculum and training information is presented in more visual ways to increase engagement with learners.
- The Savannah College of Art and Design issued Google Cardboard headsets to 30,000 potential students two years ago, and reported a 26% increase in admissions after students were able to experience campus settings in Georgia, Hong Kong and France through VR.
Virtual reality has created dynamic learning platforms in the academic enterprise, primarily around applied science. The technology allows students to interact with virtual cadavers for medical and health sciences and to understand cell structure in biological sciences; all without significant investments from the school to buy the latest microscopes and technology to train future professionals in these fields.
But there is always a concern that integrating too much technology can put a campus' diversity objectives at risk. If schools are growing in their effort to admit more low-income and adult learners across a variety of programs, one of the considerations for these groups is how campuses can better navigate supporting students who may be underdeveloped in some academic areas and learning technologies.
Immersing students in AI, virtual reality and other modern learning tools are a value-add for students with some level of exposure, but for others, they could contribute to negative feelings about adequacy and ability in a rigorous academic environment.