World Bank has recently published a detailed paper, analyzing the results of available studies that assess Virtual Reality training’s impact on student learning and skills development.
Virtual Reality (VR) learning refers to the technology-enabled learning in a simulated and interactive environment. Though the benefits of VR in enabling forward-looking pedagogy and increasing the student engagement could be obvious, questions are often raised about its ultimate effectiveness, especially considering the cost and preparation required. World Bank has recently published a detailed ‘meta-analysis of the results of available studies that assess virtual reality training’s impact on student learning and skills development.
As could be expected, the study does find that VR training is more effective than traditional training in comprehensve skills development in certain areas like health and safety, engineering and technical education. In these areas VR helps the students to learn the hard skills through opportunity to practice medical and engineering practises at comparatively low cost.
Apart from helping the students in practising for the hard skills, VR training can also help students develop their socio-emotional skills through collaborative features that enable peer interaction, active learning, and performance feedback.
But when it comes to general education, the results do not reveal a clear pattern, in comparing VR instructions with traditional methods like lectures and other less expensive multimedia methods like slide shows and videos. This could mean that though VR could supplement the learning for specific topics, it may not be adequate for instruction in all topics and fields.