Much of what you see and experience at trade fairs over the course of your working life is quickly forgotten. You mainly remember two types of products: the particularly promising and the particularly flawed. In retrospect, what I first experienced at a trade fair in Munich back in the mid nineties undoubtedly belongs in the first category: my fascinating first contact with a virtual reality learning scenario. Neither I nor my colleagues had ever experienced such a high level of immersion in a learning medium.
But despite all fascination, we were immediately in agreement: a large-scale application of this technology in a professional environment was out of the question. For one, I had to wear gloves that even at a polar expedition would not have seemed out of place. In addition, I remember wearing a helmet that was as huge as it was heavy and made me feel dizzy. And if this was not enough to daze me, then surely the enormous investment costs for the entire system would have done the trick. In short: it was a fascinating insight into a new world of learning. But there was still a long way to go before it would become practical.
Much of this way has been covered over the past 25 years. Instead of helmets, there are now comparatively light headsets, and the costs also by now suitable for mass application. This is why virtual reality gains more and more importance – even in vocational education and training. It allows trainees to learn on machines that are not even present at vocational schools and training workplaces, for example due to high acquisition costs. But it’s not just that: in our new webcast for foraus.de we, show how the Bottrop-based pump manufacturer SEEPEX gives its junior staff fascinating insights into pump technology, made possible only through virtual reality. In cooperation with the research project “SVL 2020”, the training officers there have developed their own VR learning module, with which you can, among other things, look directly into a pump.
But what are the prerequisites for a successful virtual reality learning project? And how do trainees feel about it? Do they feel like I did back then with the monstrous helmet on my head? Our new video “Immersive learning in vocational training with VR learning scenarios” answers these and many more questions.