Once you’ve decided to use AR or VR in your lesson or training it’s important to plan out the structure of the learning experience.
For both AR and VR, the instructor should provide context before the activity. The learners should receive basic instruction on the topic at hand. When it’s time for AR or VR, the instructor should brief learners on what they’re about to experience, and what they should think about during the activity. Both VR and AR are relatively new technologies and many learners have not yet experienced them. It can be helpful to plan and include a practice activity using the technology to introduce the learner and give them time to play with it and get over the novelty so that they can better focus when the time comes.
Finally, following the activity, the learners should be debriefed and asked to further interact with what they learned through further active learning.
Here are some guidelines on lesson planning from Kuntz, as cited in Grodziak and Morgan (2019):
- Lesson plan – Have a back-up plan in case of technological failure or learner inability to fully use the technology. Articulate the purpose of the AR or VR experience to your users. Provide them with background information.
- Checklist – Make a checklist of essential tasks to set up the experience, to run the experience effectively, and for after the experience to ensure that learners are held accountable and engage with what they learned.
- User Control – Consider how your learners will interact with the experience. Will they each explore on their own? Or will the experience be guided by the instructor?
There are many benefits to using AR and VR for learning. The biggest pitfalls are not considering whether AR or VR is appropriate for a given learning context and not planning the experience well (or testing equipment in advance!).
As a final takeaway: the average instructor is likely to be able to plan and deliver an AR (or VR) experience, but they don’t always take advantage of unique affordances of these formats (Tillman, Alvidrez-Aguirre, Kim, & Gan, 2019). Careful analysis and planning is key to success.