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Exploring links between virtual reality and business

01/12/2017

Enterprise and Small Business students got a taste of digital learning in action earlier this month when the GSM London Greenwich campus hosted a Virgin pilot initiative designed to foster student employability and enterprise skills.

LifeStart is an initiative developed by Virgin Money and Virgin StartUp to help people learn critical enterprise and financial skills through a series of challenges. It offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to tackle real life business scenarios, and learn how to build knowledge and boost their CVs. Participants stand to win up to £1,000 in Virgin Money cash prizes, and £100 in Virgin Experience day vouchers; smartphones, cameras, head gear and other gadgets or internships, masterclasses and mentor sessions in the process.

GSM London students explored how virtual reality (VR) could make a positive difference to university life in one of a number of exercises conducted in partnership with Samsung. Samsung has a range of products such as the Gear headset that use VR and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, which are claimed to enhance learning. “I was searching for ways to embed practical real-life business experience into the curriculum,” said Dr Yaz Osho, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in Enterprise and Small Business Development in Digital Innovation & Creative Enterprise. “As we are a private provider, I was aware that it would be advantageous to take part in a pilot or free trial to justify the intervention's value and impact. I contacted Virgin and persuading them to allow Enterprise and Small Business students to be a part of the pilot alongside 12 other universities.”

Students were amazed at how real the images felt and many were impressed by the technology said Yaz. “Seventy percent tried on the headgear and it definitely sparked some great ideas on the day. I encouraged students to send in their proposals for a chance to win the prizes and also to gain real-life business idea generation experience.”

The benefits of this exercise include helping students understand more about the pilot, getting to grips with what virtual reality is and how it can be used in different settings. Through this, students were able to generate ideas to solve a specific business problem, build their team working, boost communication, creativity and ideas generation skills, said Yaz.

Click here to learn more about LifeStart.