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Research Roundup: AR and VR for Education and Training

Whether you’ve just found us or you’re a regular reader, welcome to the Filament Games blog. If you’re curious about what researchers have to say about VR and AR for learning, you’ve landed in the right corner of the internet! Today we’re exploring the latest studies and findings that show us the impact of AR and VR in educational and training contexts. From enhancing student engagement to improving retention and knowledge transfer, the following research paints a compelling picture of how AR and VR can elevate all types of learning!

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Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality: For astronaut mental health; and space tourism, education and outreach 

Do VR, AR, and mixed reality technologies have the power to create meaningful human connections and experiences in virtual environments related to outer space? This study addresses two main objectives. Firstly, researchers explore whether VR/AR/MR can be utilized to support the mental health and well-being of astronauts during long-term and long-distance space missions by providing immersive experiences of Earth from space. Secondly, researchers set out to determine if these technologies can serve as cost-effective tools for space tourism, education, and outreach, inspiring public interest in the space industry and future careers by enabling interactions with space-like environments from Earth. 

This research highlights the growing global interest in space exploration, the inherent hazards to astronaut health in space, and the exorbitant costs associated with space travel. It defines VR, AR, and MR as technologies that facilitate various forms of virtual experiences, and it provides evidence to support the researchers’ initial hypothesis that these technologies can effectively create human connections and experiences related to space. Essentially, VR and AR are out of this world! 

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Technology in Education: Media of Teaching and Learning: A Review

This next study examines the utilization of AR and VR technologies in the field of education, with a focus on their applications in the teaching and learning process. Researchers gathered a library of research on VR and AR for teaching, then analyzed all the material gathered, and finally concluded that AR and VR are innovative tools that offer valuable solutions for both teachers and students within educational contexts.

Researchers identified various subjects where AR technology has been successfully employed, such as biology, chemistry, geography, film and television, informatics, mathematics, and history. Similarly, they discovered that VR technology has been found effective for use in teaching subjects like biology, mathematics, geography, history, astronomy, medical education, and aviation education. Phew, that’s a lot of different subjects. According to this study, AR and VR have proven to be quite versatile in the classroom!

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Game Technologies in Ophthalmology Training

In this study, researchers set out to discover the effects of AR, VR, and game technologies on ophthalmology training. Traditionally, ophthalmologists’ training has relied on supervised settings using animal eyes or artificial eye models, which have limitations in terms of immersion and cost. This systematic review explores software and hardware applications developed for ophthalmology education, highlighting the advantages, disadvantages, limitations, and challenges associated with these technologies. It also discusses the use of AR and VR simulators in improving surgical skills among ophthalmology residents, demonstrating their effectiveness in enhancing learning and confidence.

This report concludes that AR and VR technologies have the potential to change ophthalmology training for the better. By providing immersive and interactive learning experiences, optimizing surgical training, and reducing costs and risks in the operating room, these technologies offer benefits in skill development and knowledge consolidation that can be tailored to individual learners. 

Virtual reality and augmented reality in radiation oncology education – A review and expert commentary

Radiation oncology is a complex field requiring knowledge in various scientific domains – so in this study, researchers examined how immersive learning experiences could help facilitate the meaningful retention of information. The study found that immersive VR and AR environments provide learners with first-person scenarios and often include interactive elements, making them engaging and effective educational tools.

Researchers also note that these immersive learning tools offer unique opportunities for oncology education by simulating challenging procedures and providing risk-free practice. However, the successful implementation of these tools requires evidence-based design to ensure practical and effective learning experiences. After all, any sort of game-based learning has to be designed with care and intention to accomplish its educational purpose! 

Using Integrated Hands-on and Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) Approaches in Construction Management Education

Can VR and AR, alongside a physical hands-on construction exercise, enhance the visualization skills and learning of construction management (CM) students? According to this study, many CM students struggle with visualizing building structures and understanding construction materials and methods. In this experiment, students were tasked with constructing a physical model of a wood frame structure using K’NEX while simultaneously using 2D drawings, 3D drawings, VR, or AR models as references.

Researchers found that students perceived the integration of VR, AR, and hands-on activities as beneficial for improving their visualization of building structures and their understanding of construction materials and sequencing. On top of that, many students also reported improvements in their communication skills.

Augmented reality learning environment to aid engineering students in performing practical laboratory experiments in electronics engineering

This study investigates the use of AR in teaching electronics engineering concepts to first-year engineering students. Researchers aimed to determine the impact of AR on students’ academic achievement, learning attitudes toward the subject, and individual attitudes toward AR technology. Participants were split into two groups, with one group learning through traditional methods and another using an AR-based Lab Manual.

The findings revealed that the group using AR outperformed the traditional group in post-test academic scores, indicating the positive impact of AR on academic achievement. Additionally, students who used AR demonstrated more favorable attitudes toward the electronics course and AR technology. 

This study highlights the potential of AR technology in enhancing engineering education, particularly in visualizing abstract concepts and improving students’ engagement and understanding. It also suggests that integrating AR into teaching requires proper training and content development, but it can provide an immersive and interactive learning experience, making it a valuable tool in education, especially in the context of online learning during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Creative Situated Augmented Reality Learning for Astronomy Curricula

The final study we’re reviewing today addresses the challenge of teaching elementary school students complex astronomical concepts. These researchers developed an AR-based mobile app called Cosmos Planet Go to simulate the motion of planets in the universe. By using this app, students could observe and understand the characteristics and features of each planet through its simulated motion. 

Researchers concluded that students who used the AR-based Cosmos Planet Go App achieved significantly better learning outcomes compared to those who received traditional classroom teaching. These positive outcomes were observed in terms of learning effectiveness, learning motivation, and the overall flow experience during learning. The study also emphasized the importance of learning engagement, particularly the ability of students to use multiple perspectives to solve problems, in evaluating the effectiveness of AR-based learning environments in creative educational settings. 

We hope you feel as inspired by these studies and insights as we do! This roundup of research provides a compelling case for the integration of AR and VR technologies in education and training. Whether it’s through immersive simulations, interactive learning modules, or realistic training scenarios, AR and VR have demonstrated their potential to enhance learning outcomes and prepare individuals for real-world challenges. It’s clear that these technologies will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of education and training, offering us all new avenues for exploration, innovation, and growth.

Are you interested in harnessing the benefits of immersive learning for your institution or company? Hi, we’re Filament Games, educational game developers with 18 years of industry experience, and we’d love to hear about your project and work with you. Get in touch for a free consultation!

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