October 29, 2021

Savon ammattiopisto switches from real to virtual, increasing volume and quality of education

Savo Vocational College runs a development project in effective timber transportation training. As a part of the project, Savo Vocational College’s  teachers and 3DBear have co-created a virtual pre-trip inspection for a logging truck. Arto Kärkkäinen, the leader of the development project says: “ -- the goal of the development project is to achieve impressive, homogenous, environmentally-friendly and modern teaching via the digital learning environments”.

Arto describes the production of the virtual learning environment: “We created content which was shot in a real environment -- when we had the 360-photos and videos ready, we included interactively-playable educational content”. The 360 filming was performed with quality equipment from Savo Vocational College, and the 360 photos were saved in 8K. In the future the personnel may use the equipment to produce VR environments on their own. The purpose of any 3DBear project is to provide the teachers with enough training and practical experience in content creation to be able to produce further environments on their own.

The students go through the whole pre-trip inspection during this VR learning environment.

For Savo Vocational College, a special advantage of the virtual learning environment lies in the fact that a student may familiarize themselves with the content at their own pace before the actual learning takes place. An additional benefit is that learning environments are not tied to a certain time or place. A VR learning environment may be entered via a phone, tablet, computer or even VR-glasses. Arto states: “-- students may go back to the material, should they need to”. What allows the students to follow their own professional development, is Workseed integration through which the VR learning environment may be accessed. The results are automatically transferred to the Workseed profile of each respective student.

Using VR learning environment with VR-glasses. Photo by Savo Vocational College.

In Savo Vocational college,  the platform is seen as an excellent addition to the training, and it even provides an opportunity to attend to students with concentration issues. “The VR glasses specifically offer a space where students can concentrate on the displayed content with no notice of background noise or other interference,” Arto says. During the pilot test on September 15, in Kolmisoppi, Kuopio, the environment received positive feedback from the students themselves:

“I managed to perform the task on my own and at my own pace.”

“When you try to perform the same exercise outside in a large group, you don’t always hear what the instructor says, so you are going to miss some things anyway.”

Arto says: “Use of the VR learning environments have sparked interest in Savo Vocational College’s personnel, and word has also spread to forest companies and transportation businesses.” Savo Vocational College’s purpose in using the virtual learning environment is to make teaching effective, holistic and homogenous, as well as precise. The development goes on.

Arto Kärkkäinen, Head of the development project, Savo Vocational College

Translated into English by Olga Harrison