Success Project

AR is different from VR since AR basically overlays the digital information in the real world on the time and environment, whereas VR totally transforms the whole environment into a virtual world”. Before we consider the opportunities that these technologies provide in educational environment, it should be noted that they are being increasingly utilised in the tourism industry in many different ways, for example virtual reality travel; virtual hotel tours; immersive navigation; guided tours; virtual test drive excursions and AR/VR powered museums. As such, the tourist graduates of the future will be entering into an industry that makes increasing use of these technologies, thus exposure to and skills development for using and understanding such technologies is going to be an essential learning experience for students. When applied to an educational setting, the use of AR and VR can offer students the opportunity to experience simulated real-world work-type environments with the added benefit of being able to leave and return to the experience after reflection, in effect creating a safe learning environment where errors and mistakes can be rectified by students within virtual environment. The opportunity to fail safely and return to try again is a key advantage of this emerging learning environment. Extended Reality (XR), which refers to both VR and AR tools, thus offers significant benefits in education and training. There are however, several challenges associated to the implementation of XR, not least of all the high initial costs. A key challenge for the lecturer is the need to keep the training content up to date and relevant in a very dynamic industry. An important aspect of this emerging technology from a learning perspective is the need for feedback reports since the XR needs to have assessment metrics to weigh the effectiveness of the training provided. As such, it is important to invest in an Extended Reality System (XRS) that allows for this level of reporting. At its core, the educational XR technology needs to drive behavioural change, therefore the content generated needs to be relevant and challenging thereby reflecting the changing environment in the tourism industry. In South Africa, one of the biggest current challenges we are experiencing is load shedding which is an energy utility's method of reducing demand on the energy generation system by temporarily switching off the distribution of energy to certain geographical areas. The lack of consistent electricity supply presents a significant problem when wanting to incorporate technology in teaching and learning. That said, in practice, the pilot study found that by ensuring that the XR equipment is charged prior to classes and that the content is uploaded onto the headsets in advance, XR can still be utilised since it is not necessary to have Wi-Fi, a laptop nor power supply when conducting a demonstration in the XR space. For more detailed guidance and information on the implementation of these technologies in a South African context, please refer to the Digital Capability Lab and Extended Reality (XR) Facility case studies in chapter 6 of this handbook. 55