Virtual reality used to enhance psychology learning

6th March 2023

Psychology, Criminology & Law students at Stratford-upon-Avon College and Solihull College & University Centre recently discovered how virtual reality (VR) technology can enhance their learning.

Second year students participated in a session with College Learning Technologist, Emily Cossey. Emily began by describing the type of relevant applications this type of technology offers – including treating PTSD in soldiers (putting them back in environments for therapy), studies on altruism (to assess actual human behaviour under pressure) and phobia treatment.

For this session, students began by visiting outdoor environments which could be used for wellbeing and mindfulness sessions. This was followed by a phobia exercise (for those who wished to take part) which is called the plank exercise. This is for those suffering with a phobia of heights. Through the headset, participants find themselves on a plank high in the air.

The students explored a variety of environments including a plank exercise

The students found the session extremely enlightening. Jess Blyth commented: “It was really good! You can definitely see the applications and how beneficial it could be – it’s so real!” Emily Barnes added: “Having a practical lesson has been extremely helpful. To be able to use the equipment hands on means we can see how it is applied in real life.”

Psychology Lecturer, Sharon Gerrard-Pickering, was delighted with the session: “We study health psychology, psycho pathology and anxiety and phobias so it has been great for the students to use the headsets to explore these areas further. Moreover, it’s a great opportunity to see how technology is used to enhance learning and also to make learning fun!”

Find out more about the College’s Psychology, Criminology & Law course: Psychology, Criminology & Law course