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Immersive Classrooms are a brand new way of teaching and educating that is set to revolutionise how our students learn. They provide artificial, digitally created content and environments that accurately replicate real life situations. They are also a way for our students to connect to other colleges, so that new skills and techniques can be learned and perfected. Having an Immersive Classroom means that students can learn at the same time as other classes, with a tutor being in another room or one of the environments on the screens!
Unlike traditional classroom learning, our immersive classroom will allow students to learn in a flexible way, with the input and outputs of the lesson created by them. Whether this be through Virtual Reality, Artificial Reality, 360 Viewpoints or other technology, learning is sure to get an upgrade.
Our Immersive Classroom at Ashford College will be used by all Pathways, so that all of our students can get the most out of their learning. This will be based in room B3.04, and will be ready for use once our building works are complete on Phase 2, as our Building Services departments will move over.
All this is very exciting, but what exactly are the benefits of an Immersive Classroom? Let's find out...
Immersive learning builds on research, which shows that we tend to react to immersive experiences the same way we would in the real world. This makes immersive learning a game-changer for practice-based learning, as it indicates how we would react in real life scenarios. Subjects such as Health and Social Care and Early Years would benefit very well from this benefit.
By way of virtual reality, interactive experiences and the chance to communicate with others virtually, an immersive classroom will allow students to focus on the work/tasks at hand, away from distractions like mobile phones or being bored by the content. Virtual Reality headsets can also help with this as the focus is solely on the work/project!
By being another place for students to build their practical learning (alongside work placements and industry experiences) our immersive classroom will provide the space to repeat activities and explore different outcomes. This will be great for students on courses such as Engineering where mistakes in real life could be costly to businesses.
Our immersive classrooms will be able to grab students' attention very quickly, due to the variety of learning and the nature of the immersive setting. Technology like this is already being used in industry and education, with a great example being the Natural History Museum’s Hold the World project. This introduces learners to rarely seen specimens from the museum’s collections – and all with Sir David Attenborough as their personal tutor!
A traditional classroom setting may not be the best way to learn for some of our students, which is where this immersive classroom will come in very handy. The experience itself can be truly tailored to meet the needs of each individual, meaning that each experience is unique and can be undertaken at a level and pace that meets their needs.
Our immersive classroom provides us with a safe space to learn, coming in really handy when it comes to learning new practices and procedures in Engineering, or exploring dangerous environments in other subjects such as Art, in order to capture true natural beauty. It really does open up the whole world to our students!