Virtual Reality Technology and Potential Problems Associated with it
Virtual reality is defined as environments simulated through the use of computers and these environments can in turn simulate given places in the imaginary and real worlds. Examples of virtual reality environments are primary visual experiences that are displayed through stereoscopic displays or displayed on computer screens.
Virtual reality technology involves creation of an artificial environment by use of software. This environment is then presented to user who accepts it as a real environment regardless of his or her beliefs. In order to experience virtual reality through a computer, one has to make use of sound and sight. A good example of virtual reality is a three dimensional image that can examined and explored through manipulation of keys and mouse of a computer.
Virtual reality technology can be used for training and education though it is associated with some problems which will be discussed below. First of all the virtual reality technology is expensive since there is use of a lot of money for purchasing software and other machines such as computers. The other problem is that the technology has a lot of complications and this makes it hard for students and even students undergoing training.
There are several failed virtual reality technologies and this makes the use of this technology in training questionable and less effective. The use of virtual reality technology also increase the cost and time spent in training. This is because one has to spend a lot of time and undergo training that will help him or her know how to use the machines for virtual reality technology (Burdea and Coiffet, 2003).
Distance learning is a form of learning that helps individuals to achieve their academic goals without suspending their other life commitments for instance job and family. This type of learning also reduces the problems associated with learning and transfer of training. It is essential to design distance learning programs is such a way that they suit an individual’s lifestyle. This enhances flexibility because it enables one to enroll in a distance learning program any time that he or she has some free time.
The other point that is noteworthy is that the distance learning programs to be designed is such a way that there are unlimited options and hence one can study any given course regardless of the place or location that he or she is. The other way of designing that can be used to avoid learning and transfer problems is having many short terms in throughout the year which enables one to take as many courses as possible within a year. This is better than traditional training programs that consist of only three semesters a year.
The other way that can make the process of distance learning much easy and beneficial is providing financial aid. This can be achieved through provision of income tax credits and students loans to individuals taking distance learning programs. This reduces the cases of distance learning participants suspending their learning process due to lack of money (Noe, 2008).
In conclusion, distance learning is beneficial since it enhances diversity and hence provides an environment that enables participants to interact with students from different backgrounds, with different life experiences and work. This in turn makes learning interesting, lively and enriching.
Burdea, G., & Coiffet, P. (2003) Virtual reality technology. Wiley-IEEE
Noe, R. A. (2008) Employee Training and Development (5th ed.), McGraw- Hill Irvin.