University tuition fees can cost thousands per semester. Adding traveling and accommodation costs can further increase the obstacles for many students to follow their desired course. Money, together with other reasons such as missing your family and having to adapt oneself to a new place, leads many students to give up on their career dreams and choose an educational institution simply because it is close to their home. Even worse, they decide not to educate themselves at all.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already given us a glimpse of what studying online looks like. While some might disagree, many students prefer not having to travel to a physical university daily. Studying in the metaverse, as opposed to communicating with video calls, offers even more advantages. Here are 5 benefits of learning in the metaverse:
1. Collapse of geographic borders
Not all schools specialize in the same areas of study. However, with virtual learning in the metaverse, someone based in France can follow a course that is hosted by an American virtual campus with lecturers based all over the world. While many choose to take a gap year to travel before continuing their studies, with courses offered in the metaverse, one can choose to continue their studies while traveling the world. This allows students to graduate faster and not miss out on other opportunities and experiences.
2. Cutting of costs
With education in the metaverse, students can also opt to stay at home or rent somewhere that is more fitting to their budget while still following their desired course. This in return would cut down accommodation and travel costs, the latter also being a more environmentally friendly decision. According to a National Student Money Survey conducted in the 2020/2021 academic year in the UK by Save the Student, 76% of students struggle to make ends meet. This causes a domino effect as it goes on to affect their grades and mental health, among many other aspects (Brown, 2021). The percentage of students struggling to make ends meet is gradually getting worse as proven by the increase in the percentage by 5% from the prior academic year.
3. Collapse of time
Apart from the collapse of borders, the metaverse also enables the “collapse of time”. Virtual lectures have the option to be recorded, enabling people from different time zones to follow experiential and “in-person” lectures on their own time. People working or having to take care of younger children can also adapt their learning experience around their other responsibilities.
While some may argue against virtual environments due to their disconnection from on-site experiences, certain sites are not always feasible to visit. If you’re studying art history in New York it’s not that easy to travel to the Louvre in Paris to analyze the Mona Lisa in person. Technologies such as VR and AR, and their ever growing advancements, allow us to travel virtually and get experiences which would not have been feasible to do physically. Immersive learning has also been shown to improve learner performance. As written in How Effective is VR Training, the data clearly show less mistakes were made by medical students studying areas such as surgery in an immersive virtual reality in comparison to those following conventional methods. The Picture Superiority Effect in Recognition Memory study confirmed that people between the ages of 11 and 20 remembered images more than they remembered words. Therefore learning in a virtual environment can help students to retain more of what they learned.
5. Wider community
Studying and universities usually bring to mind meeting new people and socializing on campus. So what happens in a virtual environment where one is unable to physically meet other people? Since there are no geographic borders in the metaverse, it allows people to socialize with a greater variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures. What’s more is that if you fear missing out on student gatherings and events, you can even party in the metaverse. For example, In 2020, Travis Scott held a concert in the game Fortnite which had over 12 million concurrent users.
BONUS – Gold Stars – With the fairly new concept of educational NFTs, teachers and lecturers can now make use of NFTs to give endorsements to their students. Check out our recent article about this.
Learning in the metaverse is still a fairly new concept. However, this shouldn’t discourage us from getting to know the advantages it offers. As we have seen from the examples above, learning in the metaverse is able to change our educational lives for the better.
Feature image credit Mehdi