It goes without saying that the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the education sector. With rising infection rates, schools and universities are experiencing unpredictable disruption and an unclear path forward, pivoting between in-person and remote learning. This has left many students feeling disengaged and lacking the social interaction that comes with in-person learning.
As a result, universities are getting creative and exploring solutions that can allow students to feel together, even when they're physically apart. They're designing their own virtual campus and classrooms in the Metaverse to engage students, empower faculty, and bring the spark back to learning.
Below are three examples of universities that are creating virtual campuses and hosting classes in the Metaverse.
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
The Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), is one of the top-ranked higher education and research institutions in the United States. Their finance, business, and management programs nurture the ethical entrepreneurs and positive innovators of tomorrow. Whether an Undergraduate, Masters or PhD student, collaboration is a core value, central to on-campus culture, knowledge sharing, and building soft skills.
By partnering with Virbela, the Rady School of Management has been able to replicate the dynamics and design of their physical university in a virtual world. Unlike traditional remote learning tools, which can feel impersonal and restrictive, UCSD’s virtual campus replicated the look and feel of its physical university site – from virtual lecture halls to interactive presentations to breakout spaces and outdoor areas where students could pick each other’s brains or simply hang out. The dynamism of this online learning space drives effective collaborations on tasks, idea sharing, interpersonal connections, and the chance to gather with experts in real time.
Thanks to their tailored virtual campus in partnership with Virbela, UCSD saw a big upturn in positive student interactions, teamwork, debate, and ultimately the results achieved by the program’s pupils, compared with similar remote learning courses.
Tecnológico de Monterrey
Tecnológico de Monterrey has created a virtual campus where students from 26 of their brick and mortar schools throughout Mexico can meet up to participate in classes, attend events and create a sense of community. Students attend class sessions designed by teachers to meet comprehensive learning objectives that develop skill sets needed for the future. A virtual world experience provides students with a chance to attend keynote conferences, symposiums, and network, while also giving them the opportunity to portray their style and personality through avatars.
With virtual experiences that rival the real world, this university is definitely one to watch. The university worked with Virbela to design realistic scenery outside classrooms, an auditorium where students can become inspired by the words of top-rated keynote speakers, and an expo hall to showcase capstone projects or participate in career fairs.
Adding a touch of continuity to the virtual and in-person learning spaces, classroom windows display the same verdant campus views as its physical campus. With each view, you'll see the beautiful scenery that you'll find on a Tec de Monterrey campus, including lush trees and lawns. From a distance, the view appears just as realistic, thanks to the classroom textures that make internal and external scenes consistent.
A bonus for Tec de Monterrey administrators who are meeting in a virtual classroom is that they can configure classroom spaces for independent, paired, and team learning participation with just one click.
Tec de Monterrey goes to great lengths to ensure students are always learning at the cutting edge of technology. Learn what faculty, staff, and students have to say about their virtual campus experience here.
Davenport University is known for its smaller-than-average class sizes, high-quality programs and teaching, and a distinctly proactive campus culture. So, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, Davenport University was determined to get ahead and find a way to maintain their standard of learning, their classroom culture, and their student/tutor relationships from home. Above all, they sought to preserve the sense of belonging found around their real-world campuses.
With Virbela, the University of Davenport had an immediate solution to allay their concerns; Davenport Global, a custom virtual campus, was born.
With interactive auditoriums and presentation screens, private tuition rooms, and the control to find your own space in-campus to socialize or study, Davenport Global recreated a real life day-to-day – and successfully emulated the emotional and practical experience of being a student or professor at a physical Davenport University campus.
Thanks to familiar surrounds and more human interactions, together Davenport and Virbela redefined the online learning experience for students and teachers alike – so much so that Davenport Global is now considered alongside the University’s physical campuses as a preferred option for students.
Interested in conducting courses in the Metaverse? Reach out to email@example.com to learn how to create your own campus or learning environment.