During the last decade, technology has played an increasingly central role in enabling and enhancing education. This shift accelerated during the pandemic, as most learning migrated online out of necessity.
As a global education company, we learned a lot about our products, services and customers’ needs during the pandemic. Within the workplace and within school systems and institutions, we saw that instructors and students want more choice in how, where and when they learn and how students will continue to seek education to help them achieve their goals and lead choice-filled lives. The evolution will continue. As we look ahead to technology’s role in continuing to shape the future of education, its power to enhance learning and to create immersive experiences offers great promise.
This is why we are excited to share Cengage Group’s investment in Dreamscape Learn. In collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU), Dreamscape Learn develops immersiveVR learning experiences that blend innovative pedagogy with the emotional power of cinematic storytelling. Cengage Group joins Bold Capital Partners, GSV Ventures and Verizon Ventures as part of Dreamscape Learn’s Series A round.
To date, Dreamscape Learn and ASU have focused on STEM fields for piloting this technology as these fields often have the highest student failure rates. During the spring 2022 semester, ASU piloted Dreamscape Learn’s biology lab experience “Biology in the Alien Zoo,” which situated students as field biologists within a virtual environment. Students engaged in a variety of missions, through which they encountered and solved complex life-science problems. A study of this pilot found students performed better and scored higher on exams when compared to a traditional setting.
Photo Courtesy of Dreamscape Learn
Virtual reality technology has incredible potential to transform learning, not just in higher education, (as Dreamscape Learn has already started to demonstrate), but at every level from grade school to the booming skills training market.
Immersive experiences created in a VR environment can replicate almost anything; they offer educators and learners the opportunity to modify, improve and practice, often at a fraction of the cost of replicating those experiences in real life, and without the limitations of time and geography. Virtual reality also has the potential to create greater flexibility, equity and engagement in learning.
In the classroom, this technology allows educators to present content in a new way, lifting students off the pages of a textbook into an immersive experience. And for continuing education programs in fields such as healthcare, technology or skilled trades like HVAC or welding, virtual reality offers an unlock for the millions of students who pursue a certificate or license but need an apprenticeship or hands-on training hours to be considered employable.
Cengage Group has invested more than 100 years serving learners by providing quality course materials. Based on our experience serving tens of millions of learners and educators, we are uniquely positioned to enable VR technology leaders, like Dreamscape Learn, to adapt this technology to create the next generation of engaging learning experiences.
We are excited about the potential of VR technology in shaping the future of education and look forward to working with Dreamscape Learn to further the impact VR technology can have on education around the globe.