Adopting Virtual Learning Strategies To Enhance Higher Education Outcomes

IEEE Computer Society Team
Published 07/30/2023
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teaching in the metaverse

As more students seek college degrees, the pain of financing their education is all too real. The consumer price index has increased by an estimated 5% since 2022, and inflation continues to climb. Adding to this problem, the cost of attending college has grown since the 1960s, at almost five times the original rate for a four-year college.

The Educational Benefits

According to recent research, approximately 37% of people aged 25 and above have earned their college degree. This represents a sizable increase in students pursuing higher education over the past 60 years. With more students seeking degrees and the cost of attendance showing no signs of leveling off, how can institutions ensure that every student achieves their desired education?

One solution is to form virtual classrooms. Unlike the online instruction mandated during the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many educators to alter their curricula, the virtual classrooms of today incorporate Virtual Reality (VR) simulations and 2-D gamified worlds into the learning space. The reliance on video-conferencing tools, online chat features, and video demonstrations necessary during the 2020 lockdowns is replaced by activities that engage students through simulated environments like those in the metaverse. Such an approach offers a more immersive educational experience as a supplement to, or even a replacement for, traditional in-person instruction.

The Financial Benefits

While licensing fees and the need for special equipment like VR headsets must be considered in any institution’s cost analysis, using a virtual classroom learning approach offers several financial benefits. For students, it could reduce the cost of on-campus living expenses. Instead of paying thousands of dollars every semester to live in residence halls or incur commuting costs, they could participate in classroom-like settings, perform lab assignments, and accomplish their required classwork virtually. This flexibility could allow those who work full-time to pursue a degree, enabling students in rural areas to earn an education that might otherwise be inaccessible.

The financial benefits of virtual learning extend to institutions as well. Because many colleges already offer online courses, switching to a metaverse learning environment could reduce the cost of maintaining residence halls, classroom facilities, and on-campus equipment. A blended in-person and online instruction offering could benefit institutions facing overcrowding issues. In addition, institutions that implement more online class offerings could expand their hiring pool to educators outside the local area.

Download “The Metaverse and Higher Education Institutions”

The transition to virtual reality classrooms via VR and simulations like those within the metaverse provides ample opportunities for students to pursue higher education without concern for proximity. Download “The Metaverse and Higher Education Institutions” to learn more about this alternative approach to learning.

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