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5 Challenges of Lectures in the Metaverse

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More and more colleges are becomingmetaversities‘, bringing their physical campuses into a virtual online world, often referred to as the ‘metaverse’. Has an initiative 10 American Universities and Colleges working with Facebook parent company Meta and virtual reality company VictoryXR to create 3D online replicas — sometimes”digital twin“—of their campuses being updated live as people and items move through the real world.

Some lessons are already happening in the metaverse. And VictoryXR says it plans to… build and operate 100 digital twin campusesthat enable a group environment with live instructors and real-time classroom interactions.

A metaversity builder, New Mexico State University, says it wants to offer degrees in which students can take all their classes in virtual reality, from 2027.

There are many benefits for taking lectures in the metaversesuch as 3D visual learning, more realistic interactivity, and easier access for distant students. But there are also potential problems. My recent Research has focused on ethical, social and practical aspects of the metaverse and risks such as: privacy violations and security breaches. I see five challenges:

Professors and students should not freely participate in class discussions if they know that all their movements, their speech and even their facial expressions being watched by both the university and a major technology company.

The virtual environment and its equipment can also collect a wide variety of user data, such as: physical movement, heart rate, pupil size, openness of the eyes, and even signals of emotions.

Cyber ​​attacks in the metaverse can even cause physical damage. Metaverse interfaces provide input directly to the senses of usersso that they effectively trick the user’s brain into believing that the user is in a different environment. People attacking virtual reality systems can influence the activities of submerged users, even incite them to do so physically moving to dangerous locationslike to the top of a staircase.

The metaverse can also expose students to inappropriate content. For example, Roblox has been launched Roblox Education to bring 3D, interactive, virtual environments into physical and online classrooms. Roblox says yes strong protection to keep everyone safebut no security is perfect, and its metaverse includes user-generated content and a chat feature, which infiltrated by predators or people post pornography or other illegal material.

3. Lack of access to advanced rural infrastructure

Many metaverse applications, such as: 3D videos are bandwidth intensive. They need fast data networks to information flowing between sensors and users in virtual and physical space.

Many users, especially in rural areas, lack the infrastructure to support streaming high-quality metaverse content. For example, 97% of the population living in urban areas in the US has access to a high-speed connection, compared to 65% in rural areas and 60% in tribal countries.

5. Reinforcing Prejudice

Gender, racial and ideological biases are common in textbooks by history, science, and other topics, which affect how students understand certain events and topics. In some cases, those prejudices hinder the achievement of justice and other goals, such as: gender equality.

The effects of biases can be even more powerful in rich media environments. Movies to be more powerful Bee form students views than textbooks. Metaverse content has the potential to even more influential.

To maximize the benefits of the teaching and learning metaverse, universities – and their students – will have to struggle with protecting user privacy, training teachers and the level of national investment in broadband networks.

Nir Kshetri is a professor of management at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

This article was republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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