- A new system designed by Penn State engineering students gives distance learners an immersive classroom experience using virtual reality.
- Campus Technology reports that the system uses the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, as well as a haptic glove and interactive three-dimensional simulations that students developed themselves.
- The project supervisor expects the system to give distance learners tactile experience, thus improving online courses, and also enhance traditional classrooms, according to the article.
According to Campus Technology, a study comparing distance learners who completed a performance task using the virtual reality system with those using a computer program showed faster outcomes in the first group, presumably because the virtual reality experience is more natural to complete. The new technology provides great potential for online courses, though their draw is often based on their accessibility. Needing to distribute virtual reality technology to distance learners or expecting them to purchase it for online courses would significantly limit the reach of these programs based on financial considerations. Virtual reality technology with online courses, however, could be a new normal in some distant future.