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Collaborative Immersive Learning Technologies for Technical Education
Education institutions have been adopting web-based learning solutions for the last few years. Due to the pandemic, this process has dramatically sped up as most traditional teaching has had to move online. However, web-based education has maintained the same format as used in traditional, in-person, learning which primarily consists of teaching with videos, PowerPoints, and documents shared over the web. Now, however, collaborative immersive learning technologies are becoming an emerging trend in education.
A major problem in the extensive use of immersive web-based platforms has been the shortage of content. Educators are time-constrained as they deal with the shift from in-person to web-based learning and back, thus content creation becomes a hassle. It requires learning various technologies, programming, and other skills to create Apps, games, and other forms of immersive training content. Moreover, these skills are not readily available within most teaching institutions. Hence, there is a dependence on either readily available content or an army of educational assistants or students to act as content creators. These solutions are either costly or resource intensive. Additionally, these solutions struggle to properly capture the immersive and collaborative environment which is typical in a classroom setting and which is especially important for laboratory-type classes or engineering teaching programs.
AR/VR solutions are ideally suited for addressing some of these challenges. However, few options exist which reduce both the time and cost commitment of creating content. Additionally, providing AR/VR equipment to students can prove to be a challenge from both the IT and cost perspective. This makes such a solution an overall expensive proposition which is beyond the reach of many educational institutions in India.
The ideal solution would be to have an immersive collaborative learning platform that can mimic the experiences in a classroom while being accessible from a range of devices. iQ3Connect’s VR Training Platform can facilitate online learning in addition to providing an option for real-time immersive collaboration. Educators can collaborate with students online and review various content types such as pdf, videos, 3D models, 360 images, etc. The Platform supports both AR/VR users and non-AR/VR users. Educators can enhance (or completely replace) PPTs with complex 3D machines with few simple clicks, enabling an immersive learning opportunity for 2D and AR/VR users alike. For example, as shown in the video, complex models such as pumps and engines can be disassembled, sectioned, rotated, etc. to help students better understand the inner workings of complex equipment.
The iQ3Connect VR Training Platform enables real-time multi-user collaboration, whether teacher to student, or student to student. All this is possible with standard hardware such as a laptop/computer or smartphone. Bandwidth requirements are minimal, so students/educators can utilize the Platform whether connected to a wireless network or 4G network. Full immersion using an AR/VR headset is always supported with a compatible device. The iQ3 Platform also supports the creation of predefined self-learning modules that can be distributed as embedded links in Google Docs, Web-portals, or any MOOC platforms.
iQ3Connect recently released the software for a few engineering graduates to utilize and evaluate for engineering education. The video provides the students’ perspective of the capabilities of the Platform. As more educators and students start using this platform, iQ3Connect can be leveraged as a cost-effective way for building a community for Collaborative Immersive Learning empowering anyone, anywhere, at any time to learn in an immersive and collaborative environment. That is truly democratizing learning.