Extended Reality (XR) is a collective term encompassing Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies. These technologies are expanding in higher education, providing experiential learning opportunities for students to enhance their understanding of materials presented in class.  

The Loyola Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) recently conducted a VR pilot in the second-year Mechanisms of Human Disease (MHD) course. Embodied Labs offers a series of modules providing students an immersive learning experience. Using the Oculus Rift S and Embodied Labs platform, students were able to experience Macular Degeneration and Hearing Loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and Lewey body dementia with Parkinson’s disease from the patient perspective. This exercise provided unique insight into conditions students learned about in class. Upon completion, students reported increased understanding of the conditions experienced and empathy for patients living with these conditions.  

This pilot was a successful VR implementation, with students indicating they would welcome increased use of this delivery platform throughout the curriculum. Please see our Bringing the Patient Experience into the Basic Sciences Through Virtual Reality poster for additional details. 

If you are interested in using XR and would like to explore how this technology might enhance your curriculum, please use the ITRS Scheduling page to start the conversation!