Since 2020, virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality have become the latest buzzwords that my clients have been repeatedly requesting for their online and blended learning programs. However, these emerging technologies are not the best fit for every course, topic, or client.

I’ll dive into the specifics of instructional design and learning experience design for AR/VR in a future blog post. Today’s post will focus on the digital divide: the technology gaps that can prevent learners (and instructional designers) from being able to access specific eLearning technologies.

The following video covers some of the common technological issues and barriers that may prevent your learners from being able to access your AR/VR training:

  • 00:00 to 00:629 mins–I ran into several technical issues, which are important to consider as instructional designers because our learners may encounter the same issues
  • 06:30 mins–After four tries, I finally was able to get one software option to work:

For the remainder of the video, I walk through and Ready Player Me use cases for an eLearning environment. In addition to technical issues, I also discuss the dangers of cyberbullying and inappropriate content in online learning environments.

Note: since recording this video, I discovered that creators can lock down their rooms from the public, although the process is not very intuitive or user-friendly from the facilitator’s perspective. I look forward to testing these settings in the near future.

I do believe Mixed Reality (MR) and Extended Reality (XR) have a lot of potential future applications for educational purposes. However, they are not free of their pitfalls. In addition to the digital divide and technical issues, instructional designers and facilitators should be aware of online safety considerations, cyberbullying risks, and content moderation (to keep their learning environment safe from inappropriate content). Any higher educational institution or any organization that wants to include emerging technology like AR, VR, MR, or XR needs to be strategic. Research, analyze, and understand the potential downfalls. Determine whether the technology could potentially help or hinder students’ learning process.