University of St. Gallen (SWITZERLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 10401-10410
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.2527
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
In October 2021 Facebook announced the Metaverse technology and business model [1]. Even though Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are used in education since many years, this announcement created a new hype and first higher education Metaverse applica-tions appeared. This paper summarizes first Metaverse education experiences based on literature.

The Metaverse is defined as the “third space” [2], “… the post-reality universe, a perpetual and persistent multiuser environment merging physical reality with digital virtuality.” [2, p 486]. Technologically it is based on convergence of immersive technologies for multisensory interactions with virtual environ-ments, digital objects and people, technologies for AR, VR and MR, and generic technologies as arti-ficial intelligence and blockchain [1,2,3]. The convergence of these technologies enables new oppor-tunities for education with immersive, but also haptic experiences and better connections between the real and virtual world.

Literature related to the use of the Metaverse for educational purposes is emerging. A search with the keywords “Metaverse and Education” in Google Scholar revealed two major types of papers: conceptual papers discussing the opportunities and challenges and papers describing first Metaverse education experiments. Paper [4], which is an example of the 1st type of papers, discusses and conceptualizes the architecture and use of a virtual classroom in the Metaverse. Examples of the 2nd type of papers are: [5] describes a Metaverse experiment related to aircraft maintenance simulation. A comparison with video bases learning shows that the learners using Metaverse scored higher on knowledge tests and experienced a stronger sense of spatial presence in the learning environment. Another example is the use of Metaverse in fetal medicine and gynecology. This experiment also resulted in stronger sense of social presence during the discussion of a medical case and exploration of its virtual projection. The collected literature allows a first summary of obstacles and opportunities. An obstacle is the creation of Metaverse learning environments that requires new resources and qualifications. Another one is related to necessary end devices to participate in the Metaverse. Major opportunities result from a strong feeling of social presence by using avatars as well as haptic expriences with virtual objects.

[1] Kraus, S., Kanbach, D. K., Krysta, P. M., Steinhoff, M. M., & Tomini, N. (2022). Facebook and the creation of the metaverse: Radical business model innovation or incremental transformation. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.
[2] Mystakidis, S. 2022. "Metaverse" Encyclopedia 2, no. 1: 486-497.
[3] Wang, Y, & Su, Zh., Zhang, N, Liu, D., Xing, R., L, T. H. & Shen, Xuemin. (2022). A Survey on Metaverse: Fundamentals, Security, and Privacy. 10.36227/techrxiv.19255058.v1.
[4] Wang, Y., Lee, L-H., Braud, T., Hui, P. (2022). Re-shaping post Covid-19 Teaching and Learning: A Blueprint of Virtual.Physical Blended Classroom in the Metaverse Era.
[5] Hyeonju, L., Woo, D. & Yu, S. 2022. "Virtual Reality Metaverse System Supplementing Remote Education Methods: Based on Aircraft Maintenance Simulation" Applied Sciences 12, no. 5: 2667.
Metaverse, higher education.