Virtual Reality Enters the World of Education
Liverpool’s School of Engineering, has installed an Active Move and Visionary Render software for its students by Virtalis. Virtalis is one of worlds’ best leading Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization companies. It has now set a further mark by installing the VR software in the Harrison Hughes Building in the Virtual Engineering Centre at the University of Liverpool.
At the Virtual Engineering Centre, Lynn Dwyer, a business manager has explained the whole installation as, “The University was keen to establish a Virtual Engineering Centre at Liverpool on campus, close to the students and where they are developing designs for their final year projects, such as Formula Student and Liverpool Velocipede ARION 1 Land Speed Bicycle challenge. In addition to supporting the undergraduate curriculum and familiarizing students with the development of Virtual Labs and VR software such as Virtalis’ Visionary Render software, the Virtual Engineering Centre at Liverpool was established to support PhD students and researchers to develop bespoke Virtual Labs to assist with their studies and research challenges.”
The majority of the users of the Active Move software will be students in the University’s Industrial Design Program, but this does not mean that it will not be used within the other courses offered at the university as well. The other courses which require virtual assistance in terms of virtual engineering, simulation and visualization will be courses such as Psychology and Architecture. These courses and others will become more enjoyable through with the advent of virtual reality.
The whole faculty and crew members have been excited at the installation as it’s a new way to teach the children and make their learning experiences more enjoyable rather than boring.
A senior lecturer at the Liverpool University, in the Industrial Design department; Owain Pedgley, said, “Industrial design researchers at the University of Liverpool are using Virtalis systems to help design and evaluate interactive elements of product interfaces, such as controls, input devices, displays, and feedback sources. This is seen as a natural extension to using VR for visual product appraisals, and reflects an industry need to simulate, and thus refine, the intended operation and user experience of new design concepts without recourse to physical prototypes.”
Andy Connell, the Technical director at Virtalis has spoken about the innovation as, “We’re excited that a new generation of students will use our VR software, Visionary Render, in their studies. They will then take their knowledge of VR out into the workplace and who knows what they will design in the future as a result?”
University of Liverpool, is adding these virtual reality experiences in the regular curriculum and making it part of their syllabi as well. This use of virtual reality at the university level is a great accomplishment as this will allow the students to solve real life business problems as well. The Industrial Challenges is the program that will allow students to solve the real life business issues.
Education is the field which nurtures our future and thus it needs to be coordinated with technology. Technology has the ability to show the world beyond our imaginations. It is not necessary that each student has access to all the places which they need to study. For example, in science when students study minerals, virtual reality could be of great help as it will allow students to visit the places where the minerals are located as well as view the minerals from several vantage points.
Also in the field of biology and architecture for instance, you can study the body and the buildings to a great level which at times cannot be studied physically.
Therefore, virtual reality could end up becoming the most disruptive new innovation for students at all levels including high level universities.