The uses of Virtual Reality in an academic context being explored. However, these are some examples of how Virtual Reality is being used in instruction and research in universities.
Immersive field trips allow users to recreate the experience of a field trip in a virtual environment. Research has shown that this is as effective in teaching students the material as physical field trips, and it breaks down barriers in access, allowing students who might not have the opportunity to physically travel to experience the sights and sounds of the environment at their own pace, and with additional information at their fingertips.
Virtual labs allow students to simulate a lab experience in a virtual environment: anatomical labs, chemistry labs, and others are all being developed to allow an affordable and accessible way for students to experience lab work.
360° video is recorded in all directions at once, allowing viewers to have a more immersive viewing experience. Unlike other forms of virtual reality, 360° video is a passive viewing experience for the user, where the user can turn their head in any direction and watch the events unfold in 360 degrees, but cannot otherwise interact with the experience.
3D Modeling allows users to create models of physical or chemical properties and explore them in a virtual environment.
In a 3D simulation, users can move freely around the environment, interact with objects, examine elements up close at their own pace, and explore in a fully immersive environment.