Virtual reality brings hands-on training to VSU students

Virtual reality brings hand-on experience to VSU students

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Students at Valdosta State University (VSU) are gaining real world experience inside the classroom.

“You’re dead, you’re done, he got you," said Bobbie Ticknor, a VSU Criminal Justice professor.

What was a laughing matter in the world of virtual reality would have been very different in real life.

“It really feels like you’re there, like, it’s really in front of your face. So you can see it, you can know what to look for," said Navella Holloway, a junior at VSU.

Navella Holloway and Bobbie Ticknor using virtual reality inside the classroom.
Navella Holloway and Bobbie Ticknor using virtual reality inside the classroom. (Source: WALB)

Holloway is a criminal justice student at VSU that said virtual reality has taught her a lot.

“Definitely a lot more prepared than just reading from a book or reading from a slideshow. It’s definitely more helpful than just that alone," said Holloway.

Holloway also said it wasn’t always easy getting that real world experience.

“It was scary the first time, especially when the guy, it was one where the guy was yelling and like slamming his fist on the table,” said Holloway.

Holloway was one of the first students at VSU to test the virtual realty equipment over the summer.

“Just think, if you were a Criminal Justice student and maybe you could see a crime scene before you’ve actually gone out and had to experience it in real life," Ticknor.

It was all thanks to Ticknor who said this new equipment provides a real-world experience in a safe and controlled environment.

“Being able to actually see this, I think is extremely meaningful to our students," said Ticknor.

Despite their success in the criminal justice course, they’re not keeping the new equipment all to themselves.

“I have History coming, Chemistry, Biology, even career opportunities. The students can actually do virtual simulations during a job interview," said Ticknor.

Holloway said the equipment was able to give her further reassurance that she was entering the right career field.

Ticknor said the idea for this special classroom was the result of gamification, which uses gaming technology to offer hands-on experience.

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