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


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 &


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


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


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.