Increasing the appeal of technical training through virtual reality and collaborative technology.
Training Department Adour – UIMM College
Adour Region, South-West France
UIMM College trains students in technical professions that are highly sought after by companies and industrial groups. However, good employment rates are not enough to attract today’s students. When the promise of finding work quickly is not enough, what other means can be used? With Immersion’s support, training courses and learning take a new direction. Courses are exciting, awe-inspiring, and a whole new experience. They become an immersive learning experience.
The UIMM College trains students in technical professions: They are trained to become boilermakers, welders, turner-millers, industrial painters, etc. Students therefore have all to gain from being actively involved and immersed in the work environment from the start of the course. But how can the time spent demonstrating and explaining be shortened to move onto the hands-on part of the course more quickly? Driven by the need for innovation, the college has turned to a new teaching method: By way of immersive learning.
Teaching differently. Reversing the roles. This learning method is much more stimulating than working in a classroom with a textbook. Virtual reality, or augmented reality is used to create an interactive version of a real-world environment and put the learner in the action safely from word go. The learner is free to choose the content of their training, to practice the areas they need to work on most. In many respects it is the learner who creates the content of their training. VR provides them with a safe environment to practice and train. As a result, learners integrate the course content, the skills and knowledge required for their profession more efficiently.
This new way of learning requires technology. The UIMM College uses our virtual reality (VR) systems and collaborative technology devices to create real life simulations that enhance its training courses and benefits their students’ education.
Immersive learning is built on clear and continuous interaction. It puts learners in a continuous immersive learning environment, where they can practice and train using different real-world scenarios. For this to be effective, learners need simultaneous and quick access to a vast amount of information. To achieve this, UIMM College have 5 Meetiiim touch-tables, which they have been using since 2017. These new technologies combine collaboration, theory, and practice to help improve learning, knowledge and understanding.
Over the years, our offer of immersive devices has expanded to include an immersive “L” (consisting of a front screen and a screen on the floor for depth perception), a VR case (mobile virtual reality, or VR system), a virtual reality headset and several collaborative screens with the latest version of Shariiing. UIMM college now has eight devices placed in the workshops: 5 Meetiiim tables and 3 Shariiing screens.
Traditional classroom methods of education, specific to boiler making, engineering, electronics or mechanical production are confronted with this innovative technology that can put learners in an environment that simulates different real-life situations. The benefits of using this new technology are obvious, immersive learning solutions have earned their place.
The role of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) is becoming increasingly important in Industry 4.0, it is natural therefore that professional colleges follow their lead. Current and future generations of students will therefore be trained and acquire the skills and knowledge in these technologies, which are increasingly being used in their future line of work.
Progress is being made, but not everyone is following at the same rhythm. Since its creation, Immersion has been working to convince the most reluctant. Guiding those who seek change but do not know how to implement it. Training those who have changed and need help adapting to the changes. Helping learners get the best out of this technology.
At UIMM college, the project is in this final phase. We are training to ensure that our solutions are used to their full potential. Our solutions have many features. It is therefore important that their users know how to use them without getting lost. For this reason, Immersion trains them using different scenarios that are relevant and specific to their intended use.
Augmented or virtual reality and collaborative technology are being used to complement the more traditional classroom teaching methods. Students are more engaged in their education and their learning. The teacher becomes an animator. The learner becomes an enthusiastic and motivated actor in their learning. In this respect, immersive learning benefits both the learners and the teachers. Immersive learning is also perfectly adapted to flipped learning education methods.
The solutions imagined and installed by Immersion also allow virtual classrooms to be inter-connected, notably via Shariiing. Learning becomes hybrid whilst remaining interactive. Teachers will not be talking to turned-off cameras or microphones here!
Finally, the advantages of immersive technologies also attract companies. The college makes its innovative technology available to companies in the region. In doing so, they secure a return on their investment and strengthen the link between the college and industrial groups. The use of these technologies in the real world, also creates opportunities for their students who already have the skills and the knowledge to use them.