The education sector can benefit from the metaverse. The use of virtual reality in education has no ambition to replace teaching, but wants to modernize it.
Education uses digital transformation to deliver online materials, distance courses, e-learning programs and self-assessment platforms. The lack of motivation of some students and the difficulty to attract attention over time forces teachers to adopt gamification techniques to encourage and motivate students to learn. Teachers use interactive quizzes, excerpts from movies (or cartoons for toddlers) and other content to make course games for the benefit of engagement and interest in the subject. The pedagogical virtue of business games (serious games or business games) is recognized in the world of higher education. These make it possible to put skills into practice through the mechanism of reproduction of real business processes. Immersion seems like a logical step where we go from story to story, living the story is a tremendous progression for our students.
Memorization more effective than with a classical course
of metaverse will be able to take advantage of real courses and e-learning by providing enriched, engaging and accessible experiences for new students. The study by the consulting firm PWC suggests that memorization in the metaverse is four times more effective than with a traditional lesson. Virtual visitors feel very real emotions, which is beneficial for engagement and retention.
It is possible to walk through the solar system and visualize the workings of the human body in Roblox. Multiple experiences allow you to discover a heritage located thousands of kilometers away and even go back in time to observe or participate in historical events. In Second Life, you can climb the stage of Shakespeare’s theater or even visit the Sistine Chapel. Trips can stimulate the senses making learning much more effective.
Some universities have set up their campuses in the metaverse. You can, for example, visit Stanford University in Second Life and even attend some classes. Duke University offers a virtual tour of its campus on its website. The tour was created using a 360° stereoscopic camera. Students accompany us on tours to describe campus life. Photos and videos complete the tour. Other schools organize events in virtual spaces open only to students. The Efrei engineering school (French school of electronics and computer science) has moved its orientation seminar to a virtual space dedicated to the event. Kwark Education, a player in the digital transformation of education in France, has developed the Metakwark project – an educational metaverse. The authors of this book gave follow-up seminars for the dissertations of the completion of studies for master’s students in the Space topic. Students have confirmed that the virtual space encourages more engagement compared to traditional distance learning courses.
Multiple numerical variations
3D renderings and “digital twins” provide the ability to visualize complex processes and concepts to better understand them. We have mentioned the application of these technologies in medicine where the functioning of organs can be studied with 3D representations and from real cases. Case Western University adopting HoloLens has seen an increase in information retention of up to 50% for medical students taking courses enriched with augmented reality. Professors testify that augmented reality enhances hands-on work sessions, such as dissection, by showing what the student may have missed or even destroyed by their gestures without realizing it.
Similarly, virtual reality and growth is beneficial to industries. Assistance in the repair of equipment can be carried out remotely and in augmented reality while maintaining the visibility of the actions to be performed. According to Microsoft, the use of augmented reality improves training efficiency by 60%. It reduces the time needed to understand the concepts by reducing the cost of travel and equipment needed. Among the advantages that the metaverse brings to education, we can mention the possibility of learning from mistakes without generating real damage, of canceling any material or physical risk, of ensuring the infinite reproducibility of actions by reducing costs and making experiences accessible to more people.
Virtual reality experiences are also available for language learning. The University of Cambridge has created a fun course to learn English in Minecraft. Users must reconstruct words and understand dialogues to progress through the story and explore the space. Mondly offers a virtual reality experience with simulated situations reproduced to help the learner practice the language in a situation close to reality. It is possible to simulate a meeting, a taxi ride or a restaurant order.
Blockchain also has its uses in the field of education. The university course can be stored on the blockchain and diplomas can be issued in the form of non-transferable NFTs to certify achievements. This makes it possible to build an authentic, uneditable CV. Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology already offer course completion certificates in the form of an NFT. At another level, an immutable token can be used to validate student attendance at important events or classes.
A virtual university currency can be used to gamify a student’s journey with a rewards system. Points and NFTs earned during studies can prove the level of involvement and the level of knowledge/skills of the student. These can be used to unlock access to job interviews with the biggest companies on the planet. Management of online courses or assignments can be done via smart contracts placed on the blockchain so that certificates of achievement or points are issued automatically during progress. It is also conceivable that professors reserve grading points for students. Virtual tokens can also allow students and teachers to participate in the evolution of educational programs with a DAO. An entire school can be managed as an autonomous decentralized organization where all stakeholders are invested in the project (students, teachers, managers, management, investors).