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South Staffordshire College partner with FocusXR to deliver interactive lessons via virtual reality

August 2023

A member of staff and employer using VR headset

Following a successful SDF consortium bid, South Staffordshire College has been working with FocusXR to deliver bespoke virtual reality (VR) content which has helped revolutionise teaching methods and bring areas of curriculum to life.

As part of the collaboration, the college and FocusXR worked together to produce content to support the delivery of hybrid and electric car curriculum ready for the launch of these new courses and the opening of the colleges new Automotive Training Centre.

Alan Handy, Curriculum Manager for Motor Vehicle said “When looking for a platform to use to develop our hybrid/electric vehicle delivery, I looked at a number of options. After speaking to Mark at FocusXR he was able to see my vision and support with creating material for my team to use. The package created has been produced to a professional standard and has exceeded my expectations”.

Following successful feedback from learners and staff, the collaboration with FocusXR has continued to develop content for other areas of curriculum. VR crime scene investigations were developed for uniformed public services learners and the college has also been able to successfully create VR content to help educate learners in hazardous environments such as construction sites, all from the safety of the classroom. Further VR content is in the pipeline for health and social care, construction and IT curriculum areas.

Following feedback from local employers via our employer engagement skills advisory panels the college also developed VR interview techniques with support from FocusXR. This innovative content allows learners to immerse themselves in 360 interview simulations to effectively help prepare them for employer interviews after completing their college course at South Staffordshire College.

Steve Wileman, Head of Digital learning at South Staffordshire College said “The ease of the FocusXR platform has enabled us to begin building a library of 360-degree VR resources. We are now capable of creating and storing immersive learning materials, which empower our students and provide them with engaging educational experiences. Through the utilisation of a 360 camera in conjunction with the FocusXR platform, we have captured real-world environments. By integrating mixed reality interactive teaching aids and formative questioning, we can check that effective learning takes place. Remarkably, these capabilities can be achieved without the need for coding, expensive software, or VR developers”.

Mark Paddock, Partnerships Director at Focus XR said “Working with South Staffordshire College, a group of forward-thinking and innovative educators, has been a vital and rewarding experience for the development of our VR and mixed reality learning technology at Focus XR. From the very beginning, Steve’s passion for pushing the boundaries of education and embracing cutting-edge technologies was evident. Collaborating with educators at SSC who truly understand the transformative potential of virtual reality and mixed reality in the learning process has allowed us to develop immersive and engaging educational experiences that have hopefully captivated students, brought industries to life in the classroom and expanded their horizons. The open-mindedness and receptiveness of the staff at South Staffordshire College have nurtured an environment of constant exploration and improvement, leading to the creation of groundbreaking solutions in the way students interact with educational content. It is an honour to be part of their journey towards shaping the future of education, and we look forward to continued collaboration and even greater advancements in the realm of virtual learning going forward”.

Motor vehicle students can virtually walk around our workshop for immersive training

We were proud to be a finalist for the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Business Awards 2023