Using Virtual Simulation for Training and Education Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
1563 words
6 pages
printer Print
essay essay

Category: Education

Type of paper: Essay

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Hey! We can write a custom essay for you.

All possible types of assignments. Written by academics

It is always said that the best way to learn how to do something is to do it. To learn how to drive a bicycle, how to bake a cake, how to use a cellphone, how to catch a ball, or how to play a yoyo, one has to practice doing it. To master something, one has to keep doing it. The principle of learning by doing which underlies the process of simulation aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Simulation aims to immerse learners in virtual experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world, i.

e. the learners are immersed in a task or setting as they would if it were the real world. Thus, virtual simulation, also called virtual reality, offers avenues for role-playing where learners interact or operate on artificial objects or models. This process of interaction makes knowledge come alive, facilitates comprehension and stirs interest and enthusiasm to learn (Stanford School of Medicine). Because sound, sight, motion and smell are simulated, the learner feels the actual application of a theory or a concept.

For example, the combination of sights, sounds and movements of a race car simulator gives the player a real experience of driving a car in a race. The user could operate the steering wheel, stick shift, gas and brake pedals as he drives the car through varying sceneries displayed on a monitor and feel the engine rumble, the brakes squeal and the metal crunch if he crashes. More advanced simulator game booths use movement to create sensations of acceleration, deceleration and turning. Virtual simulation has rapidly developed over the past two decades.

It used to be exclusively the domain of large aerospace and automotive companies. Now, virtual simulation is used to train pilots, astronomers, doctors, soldiers, businessmen, and other professionals. As the costs of computer technology continue to pace down, more and more fields of endeavours are undertaking virtual simulation. It is now being widely used in the classroom especially in the engineering, scientific, and technological disciplines and in a variety of industries. Simulation techniques are used to design new systems, analyze existing ones, train people for different activities, and provide interactive entertainment.

Because it can generate and communicate ideas visually, virtual reality also allows creative expression such as in modelling a world that does not exist, building things without using natural resources, creating art or seeing music (Hitlab) This paper focuses on the applications of virtual simulation in education and training, its implications to managers of high technology organizations, and the challenges, trends and future directions of virtual simulation. The terms virtual simulation and virtual reality are used interchangeably throughout this paper.

What is virtual simulation? Simulation is the process of designing a model of a real or imagined system and conducting experiments with that model to understand the behavior of the system or evaluate strategies for the operation of the system. Mathematical algorithms and relationships are derived to describe assumptions about the system and are processed by the computer to display a virtual environment or synthetic model fed to the senses of sight, hearing or touch (technically known as a haptic/kinesthetic system).

Simulation is regarded as a set of techniques which allows the user to interact through typical physical activities with a synthetic world existing solely in the computer (Fishwick, 1995). The simulated model is actually a mathematical representation of something (a person, a building, a vehicle, a tree) or of a process ( a weather pattern, traffic flow, air flowing over a wing. Models are created from a mass of data, equations and computations that mimic the actions of things represented.

Models usually include a graphical display that translates all this number crunching into an animation that you can see on a computer screen or by means of some other visual device. Models can be simple images of things”the outer shell, so to speak”or they can be complex, carrying all the characteristics of the object or process they represent. A complex model will simulate the actions and reactions of the real thing. To make these models behave the way they would in real life, accurate, real-time simulations require fast computers with lots of number crunching power (Institute for Simulation and Training).

A screen-based simulator is a partial virtual simulation system that allows interaction only through a pointing device. Advance simulation techniques immerse the user in a virtual world that is nearly indistinguishable from the real world. According to Fishwick (1995), simulation is often essential in the following cases: 1) the model is very complex with many variables and interacting components; 2) the underlying variables relationships are nonlinear; 3) the model contains random variates; 4) the model output is to be visual as in a 3D computer animation.

Creating a model of either processes, or events, or processes with continuous or discrete events requires the descriptions of these events or processes by text, math formulas, graphs, matched data, and special methods of digital simulation with help of different types of 2D or 3D models, such as wireframe models, solid models, and surfaces models. To help solve engineering, architectural, training and other problems, simulation techniques graphically visualize and manipulate the simulated models (Cleverace. com) According to Isdale (1998, pp. 2-3), virtual reality systems are categorized according to user interface.

The most common modes of virtual reality systems are Window on World (WoW), video mapping, immersive systems, telepresence, and mixed reality. Figure 1. Interface of a hand holding a ball and throwing it through a window. (From Boyd, 1995) WoW systems are also called desktop virtual reality because they use the computer monitor to display the visual world through computer graphics. Stemming from the desktop approach, video mapping combines a video input of the users silhouette with a 2D computer graphic for him to be able to watch how his body interacts with the virtual world.

In immersive systems which are often equipped with a head mounted display that holds the visual and auditory implements, the users personal viewpoint is absorbed inside the virtual world. Improved immersive systems are able to create the impression of an immense environment within a small physical space. Telepresence uses a technology that links remote sensors in the real world with the senses of a human operator making it the most commonly adopted system for training in firefighting, medicine, deep sea and volcanic exploration and space rover exploration.

Mixed reality, also called seamless simulation, combines telepresence inputs and other virtual reality modes to create a more vivid display of the real world computer generated inputs are merged with telepresence inputs and/or the users view of the real world. For example, mixed reality is used in pilot training so that the fighter pilot sees computer generated maps and data displays inside his fancy helmet visor or on cockpit displays. (Isdale, 1998, pp. 2-3) Hybrids of realistic simulators and virtual reality simulators overlays in virtual reality representation onto a real physical environment.

Haptics and kinesthetic virtual simulation replicate the tangible resistance that virtual things would exert on movement of humans like they were genuine. This resistance can be transmitted to ones body though multiple mechanical rods and levers, inflatable air pockets, or magnetic resistance machines imbedded in glove or body suit. Simulation of touch and motion through such machines is known as haptics. (Center for Immersive and Simulation-Based Learning -CISL). Applications of virtual simulation and their impact in education and training

By replicating experiences, simulations hold great potential for educating people or training professionals for almost any task. Research shows more learning is acquired through virtual reality than through reading or lectures. Different from other visual technologies such as film, television and photography, virtual simulation is very effective in education and training because it can provide interactive experience with theories and concepts. Students learn while they are situated in the context where what they learn is to be applied.

They get immediate feedback as they explore their understanding of the material (Hitlab). Virtual reality transports learners and lets them explore places they are not able to visit or experience in the real world and could also allow them to visit different places in different time periods that they could not experience in one lifetime. Indeed, virtual reality evokes many possibilities for education and training across a whole range of disciplines. Despite prohibitive costs, more and more educational institutions are exploring simulation technologies as teaching aids and research tools (Byrne, 1993).

However, the benefits far outweigh the high costs of simulation technologies. For example, virtual simulation could be used to avoid the physical, safety, and cost constraints that limit schools in the types of environments they can provide for learning-by-doing. To expose them to situated learning, Nuclear Engineering students could learn more about the nuclear reactor by studying simulated models with HMD and 3D gloves instead of a real nuclear reactor. Virtual reality technology facilitates constructivist learning activities and also supports different types of learners such as those who are visually oriented.

Virtual simulation could also solve the limitations of distance learning in science and engineering education by providing virtual laboratories in place of hands-on experiments. Physical phenomena that are not easily perceived or measured in usual experiments can be presented in a virtual world and can be viewed in many different perspectives in a VR laboratory. Furthermore, virtual simulation could also address the problems of high costs and hazards of complicated experiments (Kim, et al. , 2001).

Warning! This essay is not original. Get 100% unique essay within 45 seconds!


We can write your paper just for 11.99$

i want to copy...

This essay has been submitted by a student and contain not unique content

People also read