Learning in VR
Kirjoittanut: Deniz Çalışkan - tiimistä SYNTRE.
During elementary school I remember that I would often pay a visit to the school library and borrow some books that caught my attention to improve my reading skills and enrichen my common knowledge. Reading has quickly started to play a big part of my development as it was the easiest form of reaching the information that was needed. Even though there were laptops and computers, it was just easier to grab a book and just read something from the book. This activity would allow me to use my own imagination to create a scenario in my head by transforming the words I read into visuals in my head. This was also a method that was suggested by many teachers and kept being the method I tend to use almost until the end of middle school,
In High school I would realize that using a laptop and internet for information seeking was much easier and quicker. The internet would allow me to gather ready made visuals into my brain. Learning from the internet is still a major part of me, but it has not been as effective as reading a book for me ever since.
However, now that I am in University, I started to wonder, what if there was a learning environment where I can activate all of my senses in my body to soak in the information? After I started to question this in my mind, I found using virtual reality as my solution. After starting to implement virtual reality as a part of my learning process, I started to track my learning and came up with the results that I was not just remembering what I was reading, but I also was starting to question what I was learning and generating new ideas around the information that I got the gather through all of my senses.
As an example, I took AP biology during my exchange year in the states and the text books would basically not help me to learn what I was reading, It was outrageously difficult for me to understand what has been talked about without seeing, hearing or feeling what I was reading. It is extremely difficult to transfer tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge as it comes to teaching. Transferring tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge comes from Externalization part of the SECI model which was designed by Nonaka and Takeuchi. An article called Introduction to “The Nonaka and Takeuchi” Knowledge Management Model, Externalization is explained as: Externalization: this type is conversing from tacit to explicit knowledge. From the unwritten knowledge, it is conversed to a written knowledge. The example is from someone who has a knowledge and starting to write a book to share the knowledge to many other people, so the knowledge can be tangible and permanent. (Anggraini 2018)
I soon realized that this technique of learning from books was not on my side at all. Then I would start to watch youtube videos where the exact information would be repeated with the same 2D images on the screen. I would ask myself, how is this different than just reading a book?
After purchasing my own VR headset, I came across to some 360 ecosystem videos where I get to see the habitats of extinct species in which I would not even dare to step on in real life on my own. This exclusive access into the habitats of the species allowed me to experience in what condition they are living in, what is the temperature like in the environment that they are in, do they live in water or on land, how do they interact with each other, how do they sound and etc. And after experiencing this first hand view of the species, I realized that I am not just reading a text or hearing some noises or encountering a scene, but I am having an empathy of these species and relating to their daily lives, which is incomparable to reading a book or just watching a video on Youtube.
I believe that learning with the help of the immersive environment the VR technology provides is highly valuable in the SECI model, in which you are not just an observer but a participant in any activity you are exposed to.
Anggraini, A. 2018. Introduction to “The Nonaka and Takeuchi” Knowledge Management Model. Read on 10.10.2022. Link: https://sis.binus.ac.id/2018/02/05/introduction-to-the-nonaka-and-takeuchi-knowledge-management-model/
Hey Deniz! Cute and interesting story, about your realization and how we should use VR more in educational ways than we have for now. And what the potential there can be. Interesting way of reflecting your own behaviour and seeing the change in it. Great you were able to bring some theory to it as well.🤩 I do wish it would have blended better in to the text with the story.
But definitely something I haven’t thought myself too much or seen it in that ankle!🤔