Education & Business in Virtual Worlds Now a Reality with Artificial Intelligence
05 May 2020

Education & Business in Virtual Worlds Now a Reality with Artificial Intelligence

Srinidhi Ranganathan

Tune in now.

Virtual worlds and VR worlds are emerging as a meeting place for the most prestigious universities, non-profits, and academic institutions in the world.

Their uses are varied and can adapt to different needs.

Communications scenarios. It is clear virtual worlds are being used to teach field specific communications. For example, an MBA negotiations class may meet virtually with different company leaders to negotiate the terms of an agreement.
Developing Tools. Some scientific fields are integrating lectures with 3D models for teaching purposes. For instance, in the field of forensic pathology, Second Life is being used to teach autopsy procedures.
Staging an Exhibition. Students at the London College of Fashion held a virtual degree show and created a Second Life building to display their final projects.
Virtual campuses. These are becoming quite common. Many universities are building a virtual presence to focus on learning resources, student centers, and marketing efforts.
Virtual Classrooms-Some professors are using the platform as a meeting space for students to attend lecture with embedded videos, illustrations, ebooks, or 3D models.

Virtual Centers. Several prestigious research labs and centers, such as the POC Center for Emerging Neurotechnology are creating virtual offices to discuss ideas, meet colleagues, share methodologies, or compare research.
Conferences Facilities. The MAYO clinic in Second Life hosts virtual events on diseases for residents and even includes a bookstore.
Technical Training. A virtual scenario might prepare hair stylists to practice the steps of the coloring process. Practice can not only build confidence, but emphasize important techniques.

Virtual Field trip. This option is great if you only want to use the technology for a trial basis or as a final project. Engineers might visit a chemical plant and see how they would address problems.
Simulated Experiences. To experience a simulated world. For instance, The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) created a world to simulate a tsunami or hurricane.

What is the best application of virtual technology in the classroom?
Youngblut’s research has found some crucial characteristics for the successful integration of virtual worlds.

Effective virtual worlds allow the learner to visualize or enact learning scenarios through active engagement.

The key to efficacy of virtual worlds is interactivity, rather than immersion. This simply means that students learn by doing in this environment.

Virtual worlds can be applied to create spaces that transcend safety or distance parameters.
Ease of navigation through the world seems to make the user experience better and improve learning motivation.

Teachers best serve as facilitators in the discovery process, rather than problem solvers.
Desktop Virtual worlds are the preferred method as they more cost effective and less cumbersome than immersive VR.

Worlds must build learning through interaction and construction, rather than by assimilation as with traditional instruction.