What are the challenges of going to college in the Metaverse?

More and more universities are developing and establishing “Metaverse universities”, bringing physical campuses into a virtual online world – the very hot Metaverse right now.

One of the initiatives for the creation of Metaverse University is for 10 US universities or colleges to partner with Meta and VR company VictoryXR to create 3D online replicas (digital twins) of campuses that follow people and objects in the real world Real-time updates as you move in space.

There are already a number of courses that have been opened in the Metaverse. The head of VictoryXR said that by 2023, it plans to build and operate 100 digital twin campuses that will allow students to have real-time classroom interactions with teachers and conduct group research, among other things.

And a Metaverse University builder at New Mexico State University said Metaverse University is expected to offer degrees starting in 2027, allowing students to take all courses in VR.

Completing a college course in the Metaverse has many benefits, such as students being able to experience 3D visual learning and more realistic interactivity regardless of geographic location, but there are also potential problems.

Here are 5 challenges you might face when going to college in the Metaverse, based on some research that has looked at the ethical, social, and practical aspects of the Metaverse, as well as risks such as privacy violations and security breaches:

Huge time and money cost

The Metaverse provides a low-cost alternative to learning in a sense. For example, building a lab costs millions of dollars and requires a lot of space and labor to maintain, but a virtual lab solves this problem perfectly.

However, licensing of VR content, construction of digital twin campuses, VR headsets and other investment costs add to the school’s costs.

A Metaverse course license can cost at least $20,000, and a digital twin campus can cost as much as $100,000. The VR company will also charge an annual subscription fee of $200 per student to access its Metaverse.

On top of that, VR headsets also incur additional costs.

While Meta is offering a certain number of free VR headsets, the Meta Quest 2, for its own Metaverse University, in partnership with VictoryXR, that only covers a small portion of demand.

What are the challenges of going to college in the Metaverse?

The Meta Quest 2 128GB is priced at $399.99 for the low-end version, which requires additional operating costs and time to manage and maintain a large number of devices. Schools also need to spend a lot of time and resources on training their faculty to eventually deliver the Metaverse curriculum.

That said, Metaverse courses require more time, and many of them require entirely new digital instructional materials.

Most educators do not have the ability to create their own Metaverse instructional materials, which can involve merging video, still images and audio with text and interactive elements into an immersive online experience.

Data privacy security and personal safety issues

The business model of companies developing Metaverse technology relies on collecting detailed personal data from users. For example, someone who wants to use Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 must have a Facebook account.

VR headsets can collect highly personal and sensitive data such as where students are, their physical features and movements, and audio recordings. But Meta makes no commitments to keep this data private or to limit possible access to it by advertisers.

In addition, Meta is also working on a high-end VR headset called Project Cambria, which has more advanced features.

Sensors in the device will allow the avatar to maintain eye contact and make facial expressions that reflect the user’s eye movements and facial expressions. This data can help advertisers measure user attention and deliver personalized ads based on their behavior.

If professors and students know that their every move, speech, and even facial expressions are being monitored by the school and a major tech company, they may not be able to participate freely in class discussions.

Virtual environments and their devices can also collect a wide range of user data, such as physical function, heart rate, pupil size, blink rate and even emotional signals.

A cyber-attack in the Metaverse can cause substantial harm to the user.

Metaverse interfaces provide input directly to the user’s senses, so they effectively trick the user’s brain into believing that they are in a different environment.

An attacker of a VR system can influence the activities of immersive users and even trick them into moving to dangerous locations, such as the top of stairs.

The Metaverse also has the potential to expose students to inappropriate content. For example, Roblox launched Roblox Education, which brings 3D, interactive, virtual environments into physical and online classrooms.

Roblox says it has strong protections to keep everyone safe, but no protections are perfect, and that its Metaverse involves user-generated content and chat features that can be hacked or post pornographic and other illegal material of people infiltrated and exploited.

Lack of advanced infrastructure

Most Metaverse applications, such as 3D video, are bandwidth-intensive. They require high-speed data networks to process all the information flowing between sensors and users across virtual and physical spaces.

Many users, especially in rural areas, lack the infrastructure to support streaming of high-quality Metaverse content.

For example, 97 percent of the population living in urban areas of the United States has access to high-speed connections, compared with 65 percent in rural and 60 percent in tribal areas.

The challenge of adapting to a new environment

Building and launching a Metaverse University meant a major change in the school’s teaching methods. For example, Metaverse students are not only recipients of content, but active participants in VR games and other activities.

What are the challenges of going to college in the Metaverse?

Advanced technologies such as immersive game learning and VR, combined with artificial intelligence, can create personalized learning experiences that are not real-time, but can still be experienced through the Metaverse.

Automated systems that tailor the content and pace of learning to students’ abilities and interests could lead to simpler structures and fewer rules for learning in the Metaverse.

These differences require major revisions to the assessment and monitoring process, as well as a series of tests. Traditional measurement methods such as multiple-choice questions are not suitable for assessing the personalized and unstructured learning experiences provided by the Metaverse.

 Amplification bias

It cannot be denied that gender, racial, and ideological biases are common in textbooks in history, science, and other disciplines, which can affect students’ understanding of certain events and topics. In some cases, these biases hinder justice and other goals, such as gender equality.

The influence of bias can be even stronger in rich media environments. Movies shape students’ perspectives more than textbooks. Metaverse content has the potential to be more impactful.

To maximize the advantages that the Metaverse brings to teaching and learning, schools and students will need to do their best to address the challenges posed by user privacy, training costs, and the level of national investment in broadband networks.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-are-the-challenges-of-going-to-college-in-the-metaverse/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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