Updated: May 2, 2020
Blended learning is a method of education in which digital appliances, methods and techniques are blended in with the traditional ways of teaching, providing a new immersive way for students to learn.
Blended learning is a midway compromise between classroom based study where the teacher is the one imparting all the knowledge through books or notes on a board and home based study completely controlled by students through online courses.
Blended learning still requires the physical presence of a teacher and a classroom of students, but instead of having to only pay attention to what the teacher is saying or noting down the content from the whiteboard, students learn the lesson through an interactive computer program or tutorial or even a game.
If the student is stuck or needs help, they do not need to sit there helplessly or utilize hours of their time looking for a solution as they probably would on an online course. Instead, they can take help from the teacher in the classroom. This is how blended learning takes the best of both worlds.
The above methods have been in practice for quite a while now. And while they have been effective, with advancements in technology, new avenues open up to be explored.
One such avenue is virtual social open space (VSOS) or virtual world.
What is a virtual world? Well, a virtual world is a web-based simulation of an online world.
The virtual world created by Cornerstone Enrichment Pte. Ltd. is called vLearn Lab.
vLearn Lab is a highly interactive Virtual Social Open Space simulator that helps to bridge learned knowledge and real world problem solving.
It brings Technology, Content and Pedagogy together in one package to create an interactive, collaborative and "gamified" virtual interactive learning environment for students & adults to apply what they learnt in classroom environment to real-world problem solving scenario.
Users can create avatars and interact with the world and each other just as they do in real life.
Developers can also create different simulated learning experience for users to interact according to a pre-defined learning objectives. For example, different mathematical topics like geometry and plane of surface can be presented as a using different tools to find the dimensions of a house much like it real life problem-solving scenarios.
Students can then use the tools to measure and apply cross topic theories and formulas to find the solution. The advantage of such an approach allows different learners to adopt free-form and non-linear approach when solving problems just like in real life.
Applying trigonometry principle and surface of plane to determine the surface area of the house.
vLearn Lab can help trainers & Teachers:
Illustrate concepts and ideas visually.
Create and design collaborative and interactive learning.
Share and collaborate with other educators.
Customized virtual lessons cost effectively.
vLearn Lab can help students:
Visualize concepts easily.
Test their understanding of training concepts and theory through problem solving.
See how theories and concepts are applied in the real world through simulation.
Learn how to collaborate with their peers in problem solving scenario.
Have an authentic and fun training experience.
According to researchers such as Suzanne C. Baker, Ryan K. Wentz and Maddison M. Woods believe that virtual worlds can be used as an alternate way to teach people. In their research paper, Using Virtual Worlds in Education, the psychologists believe that people who are unwilling to open up to others in real life may find it easier to open up to people in a virtual world. Therefore, therapists can take advantage of this and counsel their patients or anyone for that matter through virtual world.
This ideology can be extended to promote entire groups of players who are interested in a specific topic. For example a whole physics club can be made in-game amongst players who are interested in physics.
Currently, vLearn Lab has successfully created two demo lessons. One for mathematics and one for English creative writing. More demo lessons will be designed in the near future and Interested educators are encouraged to contact us to request for a demonstration.