Virtual and augmented technologies provide a seamless solution for merging traditional, theoretical learning with practical application in context. Unlike traditional teaching pedagogies, in which lessons are restricted in terms of the use of additional apparatus, pedagogies that involve the use of virtual and augmented reality technologies enable educators to build upon taught concepts to demonstrate the application of those concepts in practice, and allow educators to generate multiple atypical scenarios in order to build competence in practical fields of endeavour. In medical education, virtual and augmented reality tools provide an especially important opportunity for preparation before treating patients in actual practice. Although the outlay of implementation can be substantial, platforms such as Google Cardboard are simple in terms of set up yet can provide a relatively inexpensive introduction to the potential of virtual and augmented technologies. Concerns regarding relying on such tools in the classroom as a substitute for traditional teaching are entirely valid; however, if utilised effectively in the classroom, such tools can enhance the learning experience to elicit inspired engagement, and should, as such, be seen as strategies to enhance and extend the capabilities of traditional, pedagogical techniques, rather than as a means to supplant traditional, pedagogical techniques.


augmented reality, virtual reality, medical education, higher education, elearning



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