Augmented and virtual reality in learning and teaching

Responses to our 2019 survey into uses of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in tertiary education.

More than 100 lecturers, researchers and learning technologists at universities and colleges told us about their experiences of using immersive technology.

There are five key takeaways:

  • Implementation of AR/VR is patchy. Most organisations use it in only one or two departments and use AR more than VR.
  • There is appetite for further use of AR/VR, which is seen as an important and as yet untapped technology for the future. Health, creative arts, education, engineering and architecture are identified as key subjects for HE, and sciences, construction, hair and beauty, agriculture, arts and childcare for FE.
  • Responses to the technology are positive. Key benefits are the immersive, engaging learning experience and the opportunity for situated/experiential learning that is not otherwise possible. It inspires innovative approaches to teaching and improves learning outcomes.
  • The relative infancy of the technology means there are issues with implementation, cost being the biggest barrier. It is also difficult to scale when access to equipment is limited. Sector licenses and negotiated deals would be welcomed to help with this.
  • There needs to be a better understanding of how AR/VR can be used for education and its impact. Organisations need advice and guidance about best practice and are keen to learn from peers and to develop communities of practice in order to embed the technology more widely. 

The results of this survey also highlight subject areas where they see great potential to enhance teaching, learning and the student experience. 

Download the full report (pdf)