Globally, for more than two years, students have been chained to educational sessions via Zoom or similar platforms. The fact that they were able to take classes continued, but we now know how different the experience is from class-to-class.
An important step has been taken by Professor Antonio Negrete Juárez, of the Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Querétaro campus, by integrating one of his classes into a digital environment designed by the institution that allows his students to take classes remotely, but in an environment that tries to emulate a closeness with their fellow students.
During the session belonging to the Alternate Installations and Sessions matter, students and teachers attended classes with personalized avatars in the Virtual Campus, an online world created by the university with common spaces for them to live together such as auditoriums, sports facilities and a lighthouse.).
Negrete Juárez told Conecta , the university’s news site: “Students liked the Virtual Campus because it felt a lot like face-to-face instruction.” He came up with the idea after taking a training course in which he was asked to find activities he could do with students: “I had a five-week course that lasted many hours a day.” I sent them an email and they said yes, we were going to work in the pilot.
“The pandemic accelerated these processes”, says Joaqu*n Guerra , TEC’s vice-rector of Educational Innovation. TEC has been promoting augmented reality and virtual reality experiences for several years. With virtual reality, we are no longer limited to a Zoom; now we can enter a virtual world, as with video games, and this enhances the experience… This metaverse has spaces, gardens, conference rooms, lounges, cafeterias, etc. You can create your own avatar and interact with others there.”