2015/12/08

2015 11 16_18 The Opportunity of Immersive Virtual Reality for Higher Education meeting at Institute for Future Studies, Lille Catholic University

The Opportunity of Immersive Virtual Reality for Higher Education







Context – meeting at Institute for Future Studies, Lille Catholic University, 16-18 November 2015


For three days a group of 8 people experienced in education, technology, video gaming, digital


arts and future studies were hosted by Michel Saloff-Coste to explore how to use the opportunity


of immersive virtual reality for learning and innovation, in particular in the context of higher


education.


During the three days, the group met with key people at Lille Catholic University, including the


President, the VP of Innovation and Development, head of the Humanicité project and staff from


the Institute for Future Studies. The impression was


of a university engaged in an authentic transition


towards a learning institution both in tune with the


times and focused on optimising the learning


experience for the student.






Outcome – MA in Virtual Reality


During the days together there was much mutual learning and a number of project ideas. The one


idea that brought it all together at the end was to develop a Master’s of Arts program in Virtual


Reality, taught interactively in virtual reality, offered by Lille Catholic University in collaboration


with a number of the partners represented (e.g. Ubiquity University, Transition World, Chroma). It


would be developed over the next couple of years with prototyping and iteration. The kind of


elements it could include:


1. Learning generalist skills & software - teaching of Unity 3D / sound editing / video 360 / storytelling &


performance


2. Then specialising in one particular skill eg. art / programming / production managing / serious


gaming


3. Subjects covered - Online gaming / Second Life & where it is going / VR experiences & art /


Projections onto buildings / Trans media storytelling / Internet of things


4. Critical & contextual approach to VR - history / contexts / futures - ethics, speculative thinking


5. Live project work with other students - teaching studio


work and organisation collaboration projects around


issues like UN 17 goals - co-housing


6. Live projects across department - team of students


communicate with other groups within the university to


use VR to communicate an issue eg. engineering or


genetics.


7. Internships in companies - VR start ups who’ll need


interns - real life experience


8. VR Platform - overarching aim of having the MA support


the creation of a learning platform in VR for 2020/2020


Next steps


Peter Merry to lead the development of the concept working closely with Kate Genevieve from the





universities of Sussex and Brighton.