More and more colleges are becomingmetaversities“Moving a physical campus into an online virtual world, often called a ‘metaverse’.” One initiative has 10 American Universities and Colleges Working with Meta, the parent company of Facebook, and virtual reality company VictoryXR to create 3D replicas online – sometimes called “digital twins“—from their campuses that are updated live as people and items move across real-world spaces.
One metaversity builder, New Mexico State University, says it wants to offer certificates where students can take all of their lessons in virtual reality, Starting in 2027.
There is a lot Benefits of taking college classes in the metaverse, such as 3D visual learning, more realistic interaction and easy access for distant students. But there are also potential problems. my new Research concentrate on Ethical, social and practical Aspects of the metaverse and risks such as Privacy and security breaches. I see five challenges:
1. Significant costs and time
metaverse Provides a low-cost educational alternative in some places. For example, the costs of building a cadaver laboratory Several million dollars and require large space and maintenance. Virtual cadaver lab has become scientific Affordable learning at Fisk University.
However, licenses for VR content, building a dual digital campus, VR headsets, and other investment expenses do. Add costs for universities.
Licensing a metaverse course can cost universities At least $20,000, and can go up to $100,000 for a dual digital campus. VictoryXR also charges a Annual subscription fee of $200 Each student has access to their own metaverse.
Additional costs are incurred for VR headsets. While Meta file is presenting Limited Number of VR Headsets – Meta Quest 2 – Free For metaversities launched by Meta and VictoryXR, these are just a few of what may be required. The 128 GB low version of Meta Quest 2 The headset costs $399.99. management and maintenance of a large number of headphones, Including keeping it fully chargedIncludes operating costs and overtime.
Colleges also need to spend a lot of time and resources Provide training for faculty to deliver metaverse courses. It will take more time to render metaverse cycles, many of which will be needed All-new digital material.
Most teachers do not have Ability to create their own metaverse teaching materialswhich can include merging video clips, still images, and audio with text and interaction elements into a file Immersive online experience.
2. Concerns about data privacy, security and safety
Business models for companies that develop metaverse technologies Rely on collecting detailed personal data of users. For example, people who want to use the Meta Oculus Quest 2 VR headset must have Facebook accounts.
The headphones can collect very personal and sensitive data Such as the location, physical characteristics of students, their movements, and audio recordings. dead have No commitment is made to maintain the privacy of this data or to restrict access to it which advertisers may have to.
Meta is also developing a virtual reality headset called Project Cambriawith more advanced capabilities. Sensors in the device will allow a virtual avatar to maintain eye contact and make facial expressions that reflect the user’s eye and face movements. That data information It can help advertisers measure users’ attention Target them with personalized ads.
Teachers and students may not freely participate in class discussions if they know that all their movements, words, and even facial expressions are not. Under the supervision of the university in addition to one of the major technology companies.
Cyber attacks in the metaverse can cause physical harm. Metaverse interfaces Provide direct input to users’ sensesso they effectively trick the user’s brain into believing that the user is in a different environment. People who attack virtual reality systems It can influence the activities of submerged users, even motivating them to do so Physically moving to dangerous locationsLike the top of a ladder.
Metaverse can also Exposing students to inappropriate content. For example, Roblox has been launched Roblox Education To bring interactive, 3D virtual environments to physical and online classrooms. Roblox says he did Strong protection to keep everyone safebut no protections are perfect, and its metaverse includes user-generated content and a chat feature, which can be Infiltrated by predators or people Post pornography or other illegal substances.
3. The countryside does not have access to advanced infrastructure
Many metaverse applications like 3D videos are bandwidth intensive. It requires high speed data networks to handle all files Information flows between sensors and users across virtual and physical space.
Many users, especially in rural areas, Lacking the infrastructure to support streaming high quality metaverse content. For example, 97% of the population living in urban areas in the United States has Access to a high-speed connection, compared to 65% in rural areas and 60% in tribal lands.
4. Adapting to the challenges of a new environment
Building and launching metaversity requires radical changes in the school’s approach education and learning. For example, metaverse Students are not just recipients of content But the active participants in virtual reality games and other activities.
A combination of advanced technologies such as Game-based learning and virtual reality with artificial intelligence It can create customized learning experiences that are not in real time but are still experienced through the metaverse. Automatic systems that separate content and learning speed according to a student’s ability and interests can make learning into the metaverse less organizedwith fewer specific rules.
These differences require significant Adjustments to assessment and monitoring processes, such as tests and tests. Conventional measures such as Multiple choice questions are not suitable for assessment Individual and unstructured learning experiences offered by the metaverse.
5. Inflating biases
Gender, ethnic and ideological prejudices are common in textbooks History and science And the other topics, which affect how students understand certain events and topics. In some cases, these biases prevent the achievement of justice and other goals, such as gender equality.
To maximize the benefits of the metaverse for teaching and learning, universities – and their students – will have to struggle to protect user privacy, teacher training, and the level of national investment in broadband networks.