November 9, 2020

Teaching & Learning In Immerse

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About Immerse

Immerse provides a virtual reality (VR) learning suite that allows instructors to facilitate synchronous classroom learning in the Immerse Virtual Learning Experience Platform (VLEP) via a virtual reality headset. The VLEP provides a flexible learning environment that transports learners from their real-world locations into a curated virtual environment relevant to the various contexts and situations appropriate to the language being learned, practiced, or developed.  Instructors can facilitate a variety of useful learning strategies and tasks that promote observable oral production. The VR environment simulates the feeling of presence – being completely engaged inside of a virtual location through a VR headset, allowing contextually specific language practice that feels authentic to learners. The VR headset further contributes to the experience by creating a barrier between the real world and the virtual world, stimulating multiple senses, including touch, sight, and auditory stimulation, that helps learners feel grounded in the virtual environment. Finally, the VR controllers and headset allow learners to interact with the virtual world: when situated in the virtual classroom, learners can walk naturally, move their arms and hands to engage others, and use head motions and facial gestures.

Combining the most practical tools for classroom facilitation with the immersion environment, gives instructors total control of a near-authentic learning experience. In the virtual classroom this allows for easy, push of the button classroom management tools that allow instructors to quickly set tasks, interact and provide support and scaffolding in real-time, and place learners into teams for private group work. Instructors can also quickly add resources such as whiteboards, scoreboards, class announcements, and technical support notices to further aid instruction.

Immerse is the language classroom of the future, where educators can control the environment to provide learners with a variety of real and fantastical opportunities for deep learning and engagement. The Immerse VLEP has been designed to bring the future classroom to life, giving instructors tools and resources to lead and observe creative and rich language learning in action – straight from their desktop computer.

Foundations of Immerse Development  

The Immerse VLEP creates an immersion language experience for learners, similar to that of traveling to another country in which to practice and use language. Unlike real world travel, VR can be anywhere, at any time, in any location. Educators can facilitate learning experiences at the office or on a space station; in VR the possibilities become endless. As VR simulates immersion, instructors can utilize a variety of  English Language Teaching (ELT) approaches, including communicative language teaching (CLT), problem based learning (PBL), task-based learning (TBL) to structure learning experiences.

In the development of the Virtual Language Experience Platform (VLEP), the specific needs of language instruction underpinned the development of facilitation tools. The VLEP allows instructors to bring everything from simple role plays to more complex problem based experiences, like escape rooms, to life for learners.

Sara Davila
Sara Davila is the Head of Efficacy and Learning for Immerse. Based in Chicago, Sara Davila is an expert on English-language learning, twenty-first century pedagogies, and teacher-training best practices. Author of numerous articles and speaker at countless conferences, Sara’s expertise spans the globe.

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