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Temasek Polytechnic Singapore Utilises VR Technology, Data Analytics for Better Learning Experience

Students at Temasek Polytechnic are using Virtual Reality (VR) technology to have virtual field trips. Aspiring aerospace engineers can hone their practical skills by getting up close and personal with virtual plane engines. The pandemic has challenged polytechnics to find new ways of providing practical skills. They have responded by adopting new tech tools for immersive learning, like using VR to give aerospace engineering students a hands-on experience.

Students can use VR to take part in virtual field trips, enabling them to have up-close experiences with training equipment. For example, aerospace engineering students can use the technology to perform maintenance on the aircraft landing gear and fuel systems. They also learn how to start an engine from the rest using VR. The tool can be useful for students who need access to training equipment that is expensive or unavailable.

Singapore’s schools are similarly transporting students to inaccessible places with VR. Historic sites like the Amazon rainforest are among the locations available for virtual visits. VR tools provide the opportunity for students to learn in a new way. The immersive tech can take concepts like molecule structures and geometric shapes and represent them as virtual objects in the classroom.”

– Aaron Loh, Divisional Director, Educational Technology, MOE Singapore

Using Data for New Ways of Teaching

The polytechnic’s lecturers use data analytics to support students during remote learning. Data analytics can identify learning gaps that students are struggling with and enable lecturers to provide almost real-time follow-ups. AI algorithms also intervene to help student learning. It can look at students’ quiz results and direct them to learning resources in areas where they are not performing well. This creates a personalised learning path for students based on their progress.

The polytechnic created a 20-hour upskilling programme, where teachers learn how to design a follow up with students driven by analytics. Other areas of the programme include turning numerical data into visual images and understanding who owns different data.

“Looking ahead to a post-pandemic world, the polytechnic is reconsidering what the most effective form of learning will look like. It is already weighing up which activities are better done face-to-face, and which are better done online. The polytechnic is also exploring how students are going to be assessed in a post-pandemic future. Soft skills like problem solving, resourcefulness, self-direction and social skills are becoming more important in preparing students for life after graduation.”

The polytechnic will adopt a hybrid learning approach where students will have the flexibility to join lessons in person or virtually. Recordings of lessons will also be made available online. This is relevant in the current context where students may have to be isolated at home or recover from Covid”, Boey shares.

Educational institutions are not letting the pandemic get in the way of developing hands-on skills. VR technology is enabling students to get up close and personal with training equipment, while lecturers learn how to support students in real-time with data analytics.

Singapore has been using VR in various fields, including healthcare. As reported by OpenGov Asia, By leveraging novel smart technologies like virtual reality (VR) and gamification, physiotherapists at SingHealth institutions, such as Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), have found new and efficient ways to help patients meet their rehabilitation goals while allowing therapists to monitor their progress and recovery more efficiently.

There are also VR-enhanced treadmills. Using VR simulations and intelligent feedback, patients navigate obstacles and different terrains while improving their mobility, balance, and fitness levels. Technological equipment that incorporates VR and gaming make otherwise mundane rehabilitation activities like walking fun and interactive, thereby increasing patient interest and participation.

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