Becoming a ‘Metaversity’: NC A&T to use virtual reality to engage students

Imagine reliving the Selma March in 1965 or taking a tour of the Amistad slave ship. Soon, students at North Carolina A&T University will have the opportunity to do these and more by using Virtual Reality (VR) — immersive, computer-simulated environments.

NC A&T joins 25 colleges across the United States in becoming a “metaversity.” The schools will create a digital replica of their campus or classrooms, allowing students to use VR to experience specific environments on campus or during remote learning. 

The concept, led by VictoryXR and Meta Immersive Learning, aims to use technology to provide a hands-on learning experience on the digital campus or a unique virtual location.

Why it matters: Colleges and universities are trying new ways to engage students as remote learning and college dropout rates continue to rise.

 “The more that students are engaged, the better their success rates are,” Evelyn Sowells-Boone, NC A&T’s virtual reality project manager and computer systems technology department chair, told QCity Metro. “We want to retain and recruit students, and [virtual reality] gaming is a way to attract them.” 

Providing the “Aggie experience” away from campus

Sowells-Boone said she initially heard of VR after her son used the technology in class as a student at Morehouse College

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