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Studying smart in goggles
The computer has taken the place of yesterday's notebook, and now it is to be accompanied by virtual reality (VR) goggles. This is the recent way of Polish university students. Starting in October, VR classes will also be conducted in English. In the new academic year, this technology becomes available to students of law, finance, and management faculties.
Even today, lawyers-to-be can enjoy the benefits of a virtual computer game. They pop the goggles on and find themselves at a crime scene.
"The task is to correctly secure and collect evidence and traces, to establish the facts of what happened", explains Daria Kowalska, Director of Marketing Department at Kozminski University and the brain behind the educational game. This teaching method is used by the university to train criminal investigation specialists. After the summer holidays, this Warsaw-based university implements a course incorporating Virtual Reality for English-speaking participants.
While in the VR realm, the students perform investigative operations, and then the teacher analyses their actions and points out their mistakes.
"Even specialists might be mistaken, so it's good to learn through gaining experience, which in this case closely resembles the reality of what actually happens at the scene", advocates the author for the game's script, Professor Monika Całkiewicz, Vice-Rector for Law Studies.
The University of Westminster is now conducting similar courses for future criminologists. Law students, while examining a crime scene, are supposed to establish if a suspect is guilty and whether they acted in self-defence. At Oxford University, a project offering support to persons suffering from delusional disorder is currently in operation. The patients, wearing a pair of VR goggles, try to tackle the situations which cause fear in reality, such as a ride on the tube or in a lift. In Poland, the Silesian University of Technology has taken the same path. Virtual reality has been implemented in rehabilitation of people with restricted mobility, or helps autistic children.
Kozminski University is widening the scope of faculties where the new technology finds its application. The virtual world will accompany students in management and finance courses. In computer-generated space, the future managers and economists will be facing teamwork challenges. They will also master the knowledge of how to employ money.
Kozminski University is among the world's avant-garde tertiary education institutions to have used virtual reality as a tool in training law students. It comes 45th
in the Financial Times ranking of the best business schools in Europe (1st
place in Central and Eastern Europe). It runs courses for lawyers, economists, management specialists, as well as business and media psychologists and sociologists - also in the English language. The University also conducts postgraduate, Ph.D. and prestigious Master of Business Administration programs.