In 2018, West Coast University began exploring new technology by partnering with Microsoft to immerse students into the exciting world of augmented reality.
Augmented or Virtual: What’s the difference?
Both virtual and augmented realities provide the experience through the 3D, high-definition audio and video, but there is still a big difference. The VR is completely immersive and puts a user into isolated reality while the AR is partly immersive. In the world of augmented reality, your user can look around and through artificial objects of the expanded layer.
“We used to say that there are three types of learners: visual, auditory or kinesthetic. But as we start to implement technology into the classroom, we’ll start to see a rise of mutual learners,” WCU-Los Angeles associate professor Shahram Bakhtiari said. “For students that learn best when they are immersed in the subject and they feel themselves in the environment, AR (augmented reality) is the gateway to that future.”
Working closely with Microsoft to pilot the Hololens and implement augmented reality in the classroom, WCU challenged ourselves to look at different opportunities to enhance the student learning experience in new ways. The technology allows our students to enlarge, isolate, dissect and even walk inside every system and part of the human body.
“I'm always interested in learning about new technology so the fact that WCU implemented AR into nursing is so cool. It’s just an insane breakthrough that we are going to be able to use now, and keeping using far into the future,” WCU-LA BSN student Justin Ridolfi said.
This technology has allowed our students to grasp concepts at a deeper level and truly excel in the course. We are excited to be partnering with Microsoft and Medivis to implement and integrate the Hololens and the augmented reality software at such a large scale into our curriculum.
“West Coast University is always trying to be the pioneers of the field of education technology and that student-centricity will help our students so when they go into the field they are in very good shape, very good capacity and they’re up-to-date,” Bakhtiari said. “And that's beautiful.”