Participating universities include West Virginia University, the University of Maryland, and Morehouse College just to name a few.
VR technology company Engage XR today announced that it is partnering with VR education specialists VictoryXR to launch 10 virtual universities, aka “Metaversities,” across the United States. Beginning this Fall, select colleges will open twin digital campuses built by VictoryXR on Engage XR’s social VR platform. The project is being funded by Meta as part of Meta Immersive Learning, a program which was established to help support the next generation of metaverse content creators.
Participating students will receive a Meta Quest 2 headset which can be used to access their respective universities in VR. Here they’ll be able to explore a digital replica of their campus and participate in virtual classes with other students in real-time without having to leave their homes. These classes will cover everything from human anatomy, history, and astronomy. Unlike conventional classrooms, virtual classes will take advantage of technology to immerse students in their studies in a way that would be impossible to replicate IRL.
“Just like the real world, students will be able to break into small groups and work on projects together, no matter their physical distance,” said Steve Grubbs, VictoryXR CEO in an official release, “but unlike the real world, they will be able to shrink to the size of Ant-man and tour the human body. It’s no wonder student retention is so much greater.”
The following is a list of the universities confirmed to be participating in the program. The list includes one veteran school as well as six new metaversities. The final three will be announced this May according to Engage:
- Morehouse College
- New Mexico State University
- South Dakota State University
- Southwestern Oregon Community College
- University of Maryland Global Campus
- University of Kansas School of Nursing
- West Virginia University
“When the history of metaverse education is written, these are the schools that will be known as the metaverse pioneers,” added Grubbs. “Remote learning is growing and these schools have decided to look for something better than a Zoom class.”
“More than any learning innovation I have been involved with, Morehouse in the Metaverse has made the biggest difference for the students I teach,” added Dr. Muhsinah Morris, associate professor at Morehouse College.
When you think about VR technology, the first thing that often comes to mind is gaming, and for good reason. VR headsets such as the Meta Quest and HTC Vive have set the stage for the next generation of video games, allowing players to immerse themselves even further in their favorite worlds. With so much attention on the video game industry, however, it’s easy to overlook the many benefits VR technology will have on the world of education.
These metaversities could be a game-changer for remote learning, allowing students from around the world to gather in virtual classrooms where they can collaborate and learn from professional educators with little to no distractions regardless of their general locations.
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Image Credit: Engage XR