The Development and Opportunity of Educational Mode in the Metaverse Age
Keywords:Human-Computer Interaction; Metaverse; Phenomenological Research; Online Communities; Online Learning.
The Metaverse is an end-users-oriented integration of various layers of Information Technology (IT), where Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) would be the core technology. With the rapid development of IT, the Metaverse would allow users to connect, work, conduct business, and access educational resources, all in a technology-mediated environment in new interaction ways. The Metaverse can play a major role in the future of online learning and enable a rich active learning environment, where learners have the opportunity to obtain first-hand experiences that might not be accessible in the physical world. While currently there is a severe shortage in Metaverse-Learning studies, such research strands are expected to soon emerge. The main objective of this paper is to investigate challenges and opportunities for human-centric Metaverse technology in the learning sector, hence accelerating research in this field. A phenomenological research method was used, including semi-structured in-depth interviews, essays written by participants, a focus group discussion with 19 experts in the areas of HCI, intelligent interactive technologies, and online learning. Five challenges were identified for the Metaverse-Learning context: immersive design, privacy and security, universal access, physical and psychological health concerns, and governance. While the research provided suggestions to overcome those challenges, three Meta-Learning opportunities were identified: hands-on training and learning, game-based learning, and collaboration in creating knowledge. The findings of this research contribute to understanding the complexity of the online learning in the Metaverse from the Human–Computer Interaction point of view. These findings can be used to further research the Metaverse as a virtual communication environment and potential business and learning platform.
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