Post-secondary education has moved beyond the hallowed halls of traditional education and is offering the ultimate in virtual education at some of the nation’s most prominent institutions. Morehouse is one of ten selected post-secondary schools to embrace the technology and engage students in an immersive learning experience that has not been seen before.
Morehouse College is leading the charge in this bold new world of academia and learning.
Following two years of online learning and information exchanges via Zoom and Microsoft Team calls, challenges for finding and cultivating a more fertile environment to keep students engaged emerged as a key element for online learning enhancements.
While students won’t be sitting in a traditional lecture hall or laboratory, research suggests the metaverse educational experience may be more beneficial. Thinks about it, an enhanced online learning experience in visually enriched environments – in some cases more appreciated by students than actual classrooms and campuses.
This fall, a new initiative begins here in Georgia at Morehouse College, one of the first “metaversities” in the U.S. And apparently, the technology is delivering on its commitment to a more enriching learning experience.
According to a 2021 study by PwC, 40 percent of VR learners are more confident in applying what they’ve been taught and 150 percent more engaged during classes.
Morehouse College’s Metversity – one of only 10 in the nation – creates a next-level college experience by providing\ a digital replica of the campus so students can use virtual reality to transform learning when the student is on campus or learning remotely.
“Morehouse was selected through our partner VictoryXR who already had a relationship with [Morehouse]. And as this came to life again, catalyzed by the pandemic and the need to bring newer technologies in to making that online experience more valuable,” explains Monica Ares, Head of Meta Immersive Learning.
The Morehouse College Metaveristy is slated to offer a more comprehensive educational experience with enhanced capabilities including partnering with libraries, museums, and educational institutions to bring their visions for immersive and collaborative learning experiences to life and to learners.
In February of 2022, Morehouse rolled out the technology at its Candle in the Dark Ceremony and Gala, and supporters who were unable to attend the physical event had the opportunity to participate via the metaverse.
“What people were seeing inside the headset is that you’re fully immersed into an experience. So everywhere you look you feel like you’re in [the room],” continued Ares. “What’s beautiful about it is that your brain actually starts to feel like you are submerged in this. You’re in an environment you can explore and you can also interact with others who are in the environment with you.”
But now, companies like Meta are investing in people, communities, and technology to create new experiences in the metaverse to counter and even build on the impact of two years of remote work and learning, the shortcomings of which are still being felt.
But now, companies like Meta are investing in people, communities, and technology to create new experiences in the metaverse.
These metaversities will leverage the power of virtual reality to create a new, immersive learning experience for students including and will provide each student with a Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset to enhance their learning experience.
The metaversity concept comes from a partnership between Meta Immersive Learning and VictoryXR, a leader in virtual reality education. The list of universities and colleges partnering in this cutting edge technolgy includes; one veteran school and nine new metaversities, including Morehouse College, University of Kansas School of Nursing, New Mexico State University, South Dakota State University, West Virginia University, University of Maryland Global Campus, Southwestern Oregon Community College.
This is part of a larger effort of investment in the U.S. to build the metaverse.
Other elements of this effort include:
Developing training programs and partnerships to help people develop new skills in augmented reality, virtual reality and immersive media
Investing in the development of high-quality immersive content for the metaverse
Partnering with libraries, museums and educational institutions to bring their visions for immersive and collaborative learning experiences to life
Three additional metaversities will be released in May.
“More than any learning innovation I have been involved with, Morehouse in the Metaverse has made the biggest difference for the students I teach,” said Dr. Muhsinah Morris, associate professor at Morehouse College.