Central Bedfordshire College and Virtual Reality specialist AiSolve celebrated their partnership with the launch of the Immersive Training Institute (ITI). The event was held at the College’s state-of-the art, brand new, Leighton Buzzard Engineering and Construction Skills Centre on Wednesday 4th October.
The Immersive Training Institute (ITI) was inspired by the need for skills growth locally and worldwide; it has formed to deliver inspirational technical and vocational learning utilising leading-edge technology. At Central Bedfordshire College, we have been developing this work for the last 12 months, in partnership with AiSolve, and this event allowed us to share our findings with our employer partner base and our colleagues across the sector.
The ITI’s use of Artificial Intelligence based VR technology to teach technical skills, will allow colleges to work creatively with teachers, trainers and lecturers to reimagine their teaching approach, giving them more time to teach the social skills and techniques that are so vital within the workplace, for example, how to approach a certain situation or how to respond to a manager.
The event brought together attendees from prominent businesses and educational institutions including Amazon, Rockwell, Heathrow Airport, Lenovo, CATs Aviation, RAFT and the University of Bedfordshire, to discuss and experience what the UK’s first dedicated Immersive Skills training programme and centre can offer.
Attendees found the interactive VR demonstrations engaging and exciting, with educational training simulation examples showing the user how to fit motor vehicle parts, as well as solve problems and cope in a high pressured surgical environment. These examples gave users a taste of how the ITI will work with the latest technology and hardware to deliver an immersive, interactive curriculum that will allow for more effective skills development.
Following an evening of demonstrations and discussion of the next steps for the project with key stakeholders, such as the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), our students were given the opportunity to experience VR for themselves, an experience which they thoroughly enjoyed. This gave them an excellent insight into how VR could directly benefit their learning experience.
David, an Engineering student, commented, "What a great, immersive experience!” He pointed out, “It would be fun to use in history lessons, or in science for viewing things like the inside of an atom."
Central Bedfordshire College are extremely proud of the progress that the ITI has made so far and look forward to its continued growth in the delivery of innovative approaches to training in FE. We would like to thank AiSolve for extending the use of the VR equipment in order to share this exciting experience with our students and for the services of all staff and students who contributed to the success of this event.