How can I embed VR simulation into the learning environment?

VR simulation excels at providing realistic and safe learning environments and teaching students how to improve their technical and safety skills.

Virtual Reality (VR) techniques are now a global integral part of the academic and educational systems. They provide easier access to education to a very wide spectrum of individuals to pursue their educational and qualification objectives.

These modern techniques have been shown to improve the quality of the teaching and learning experience for the student and elevate their performance to higher standards.

Furthermore, VR techniques can reduce the cost of higher education at both institutional and individual learner levels.

VR simulation excels at providing realistic and safe learning environments and teaching staff and students how to improve their technical and safety skills.

Users are put into real-life scenarios where they can practice or be assessed. They can practice their roles in a variety of circumstances and reflect on how they handle potentially stressful and highly-charged emergency situations with immediate, accurate feedback. This reflection can be done in groups or individually after their VR simulation to critique and discuss what happened.

Despite the above, VR simulation in training centers and teaching hospitals is not yet as prevalent as it should be despite the current experience and research of the early adopters. An overview of how someone might start and/or sustain a VR simulation program in a training environment with the intention of embedding a program is beyond the scope of this article but one technique remains constant. VR simulation must be treated as an accountable, results-orientated tool.

VR simulation can work alongside previously used physical simulation or take pole position in the simulation environment but it must be introduced and used in a formal setting. In addition to the fixed VR simulation sessions, you will notice an increase in self-directed study by the learners as VR simulation is often seen as more enjoyable and beneficial for learners to use in short periods such as a lunch break.

Barriers and enablers to introducing and embedding aVR simulation program are intimately intertwined. Knowledge of barriers and enablers of VR simulation are important, as these will always exist particularly in complex organizations with uncertainty.

While it would be nice to provide a practical step-by-step model of how to embed a VR simulation program in a training environment, each center has its own culture, context, and complexity so any individual or team looking to embed VR simulation needs to appreciate these elements.

Anyone directing VR simulation needs to understand change management, organizational complexity, and leadership for successful implementation of sustainable VR simulation in training environments so that they are embedded and treated as any other operational service a hospital/University/College cannot do without.

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