Meta announced its ongoing partnership with 15 universities across the United States this week, who are currently embracing immersive learning through virtual reality in the classroom – including, but not limited to: Stanford University, Arizona State University, New Mexico State University, University of Iowa, Purdue Global, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Nova Southern University, Miami Dade College, and Morehouse College.
These new collaborations span a wide range of educational apps, ranging from science, engineering, STEM, history, language, and more – all of which can be found in the Meta Quest store.
A recent report by PwC found that 40% of VR learners are more confident in applying what they’ve been taught, and 150% more engaged during classes. The XR Association (XRA) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) found that 77% of educators believe immersive technologies ignite curiosity and improve engagement in class.
For instance, Stanford University is using VR to teach soft skills to business students, while Arizona State University is enabling students to practice language conversations in virtual environments.
Purdue Global and Nova Southern University, respectively, use VR to train nurses in virtual simulations of hospitals and to teach first year medical students about organs in the human body.
Other institutions like New Mexico State University are employing VR for criminal justice education, and the University of Iowa is focusing on soft skills training for business students.
The results of early initiatives are promising, according to Meta. Morehouse College in Atlanta found that students who learned in VR achieved higher test scores compared to traditional in-person or online methods, with students who learned in VR averaging final test scores of 85 (compared to 78 in-person and 81 for traditional online methods).
VR in-the-classroom is not only enhancing learning but also boosting attendance and engagement.
In addition to these university partnerships, Meta is testing ways to make educational content more accessible on its VR platform, Meta Quest. The company recognizes the importance of providing age-appropriate educational resources and is exploring dedicated shelves in the Meta Quest store to facilitate content discovery.
Turning to Europe
However, this educational push isn’t limited to the United States, as Meta has kept its eyes on how educators in Europe have also embraced VR and metaverse technologies in the classroom.
Take Italy, for example, whose schools are integrating immersive experiences into lessons, with the University of Camerino hosting its first entirely metaverse-based course for this upcoming term.
In Germany and Austra, GoStudent is a revolutionary language learning through virtual reality that goes alongside its foreign language classes, GoVR, where students interact live with native-speaking tutors and classmates from across the country.
While Meta is enthusiastic about the potential of the metaverse in education, the company emphasizes the importance of governments and institutions embracing these technologies to ensure they benefit students at all levels. Skilled teachers, Meta believes, are central to inspiring students, and providing them with the necessary equipment is a crucial starting point.
Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.