IIT-Kharagpur researchers develop no-code 360 VR platform for lecturers

virtual reality, VR and education, 360-degree VR educator platform, 360 VR Educator IIT Kharagpur, Kaushal Kumar Bhagat IIT Okay

Digital Actuality (VR) is likely to be touted as the way forward for studying, however in the mean time lecturers discover themselves excluded from this ecosystem. This was the elemental downside a gaggle of IIT-Kharagpur researchers had in thoughts once they began engaged on growing a 360-degree VR educator platform.

“The fundamental downside is that lecturers are depending on others for growing the immersive content material. We needed to vary that,” Kaushal Kumar Bhagat, Assistant Professor, Superior Know-how Growth Centre, Indian Institute of Know-how Kharagpur, informed indianexpress.com in a video interview.

Bhagat and a workforce of researchers received the concept of growing a no-code 360-degree VR platform for lecturers in the course of the pandemic after realising that on-line courses lacked interplay.

“What’s the assure {that a} pupil is basically going by means of the video and understanding the idea,” he questioned, underlining how on-line courses could be lecture-heavy and generally repetitive with no concentrate on making a collaborative studying atmosphere.

virtual reality, VR and education, 360-degree VR educator platform, 360 VR Educator IIT Kharagpur, Kaushal Kumar Bhagat IIT Okay Bhagat is an Assistant Professor on the Indian Institute of Know-how, Kharagpur. (Picture credit score:Kaushal Kumar Bhagat/Linkedin)

For Bhagat, VR has the potential to make studying extra interactive and immersive by means of computer-generated graphics in a three-dimensional atmosphere, which is a greater medium to resolve complicated ideas than simply studying or listening to them.

However designing content material for 360-degree experiences requires numerous assets, manpower, excessive configuration workstations in addition to entry to high-end VR headsets that may go in 1000’s. From the very starting, Bhagat who additionally leads the undertaking which is funded by the Commonwealth of Studying (COL) and Commonwealth Academic Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi, needed to simplify the method.

It took Bhagat and a workforce of researchers greater than 18 months to develop an open-source 360-degree VR platform particularly designed for lecturers and educators. The fantastic thing about the platform is that it requires no prior information of coding, thus making it straightforward to create new content material, usually in lower than half-hour.

“It takes hours to develop immersive VR experiences however for educating functions, 360-degree VR content material ought to be straightforward to develop,” he mentioned.

Digital Actuality (VR) is a time period used to explain three-dimensional computer-generated environments. (Picture credit score: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Categorical)

There are not any prerequisite abilities wanted to develop the VR content material. All they want is to shoot photographs in 360-degree, comply with the directions, and create a lesson able to be skilled in VR. Academics can add audio, create quizzes or herald gamification components to make the lesson attention-grabbing.

The platform is designed for Android, however may run on the desktop. With the rising penetration of smartphones within the far-flung areas of the nation and the supply of inexpensive cellular VR headsets, such because the Google Cardboard, college students can visualise ideas which can be taught in faculties. “The diploma of immersiveness varies relying on which VR headset you’re utilizing, however then the concept has all the time been to make VR accessible so {that a} pupil from rural India may first-hand expertise VR.”

Bhagat just lately carried out a two-day workshop on the Regional Institute of Schooling, Bhubaneswar, Orissa to coach college lecturers on the right way to create immersive instructional content material utilizing the 360 VR educator platform. Related workshops have been carried out in Cuttack and Malaysia prior to now. The 360 VR Educator is already supported by the Nationwide Council of Academic Analysis and Coaching (NCERT).

The following step, for Bhagat and his workforce, is to take the 360 VR Educator platform exterior India. Because the undertaking is funded by the COL, which has 54 member states, the platform can empower lecturers and provides them a brand new option to bridge the hole between principle and follow utilizing VR.


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