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Indian Research Institute to Enhance Learning with AR/VR Tech

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) are creating instructional and educational models that utilise digital technologies, aimed at assisting secondary schools in rural regions of the country.

The researchers have designed learning modules that incorporate augmented reality and virtual reality technology. The objective is to improve the effectiveness of the learning process and enhance the proficiency and competency of students.

The implementation of the programme has commenced and the project coordinators have developed the inaugural AR-based mobile app. It captures the history of the transnational Anglo-Indian community across 500 years.

The initiative provides students with unique opportunities to engage in immersive and experiential learning through VR-enabled technology. Subjects like social science, history, sciences, and languages can be effectively taught using AR/VR world-building, digital storytelling, and educational games. The technology will make learning processes more efficient.

Furthermore, the project aligns with India’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

According to an official from the Institute, the project has the potential to revolutionise learning and education in schools, particularly for millions of rural students across India. By leveraging AR/VR technology to create immersive educational experiences, the project aims to enhance pedagogy and transform the way students learn.

The project aims to establish an accessible and affordable digitally-enabled immersive learning experience, coupled with the opportunity to connect with experts from diverse fields. The project seeks to build an AR/VR-supported teaching-learning model, which would transcend the barriers of physical classrooms.

In addition to the AR/VR-based immersive learning initiative, the government is also leveraging other emerging technologies to improve digital learning platforms in schools. Last year, IIT-Madras and the Tamil Nadu State Department of School Education collaborated to improve and update the digital learning platform for school students to an assessment-focused Learning Management System. It was deployed in high-tech labs in 6,000 government schools. It aimed to improve the quality of learning for around nine million students.

Education in Tamil Nadu’s schools is supplemented through a digital learning platform called the Education Management Information System. Researchers from the IIT-Madras used their artificial intelligence (AI) and data science expertise to come up with ways to improve the way assessments are conducted and develop a framework to disseminate educational material. The researchers built on the education department’s efforts of a taxonomy-based content mapping to build several tools. These include assessment creation, performance evaluation, and various dashboards to monitor the learning progression of students, as well as school and district-level monitoring. The initiative was led by faculty, students, project associates and channel partners of IIT-Madras’ centre of data science and AI (RBCDSAI).

The purpose of the initiative was to provide the educational community of Tamil Nadu with a richer learning experience, one which is enabled by the latest digital innovation in AI and machine learning technologies. As OpenGov Asia reported, the project was executed in three phases: the first phase focused on content management for educational material and assessment. The second phase worked on delivery and feedback for educational material and assessment. The third phase focused on data analytics, dashboards, and a reporting system.


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