Courses in the Metaverse Struggle To Compete With Real World
Fulfilment of initial promise made for the technology remains elusive. From a report: The Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) has offered a tantalising prospect to people who want to learn but don’t like to leave the house: join us ‘virtually, for a postgraduate course in the metaverse.’ Students signing up to WU’s professional master of sustainability, entrepreneurship and technology programme can complete the entire part-time course — attending lectures, meeting their classmates for a coffee and so on — by just logging in via a laptop. The course — developed in partnership with Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences, an edtech start-up based in Berlin — is one of many examples where business schools have embraced the metaverse, 3D technology, virtual reality headsets and avatars to extend the reach of management and leadership training.

Setting up the course “provides us with greater reach, making the course more global,” explains Barbara Stottinger, dean of WU’s executive academy. However, she is quick to add: “Vienna is a great location so coming to campus is still pretty attractive to most of our students.” And this is the problem at the heart of why many business schools have been reluctant to enter the metaverse for course tuition: studying in the real world has its advantages. Teaching the interpersonal skills of leadership and networking that are so integral to postgraduate management courses, like the MBA, is better done in person. It also avoids having to fund purchases of the hardware and software necessary for metaverse projects. Meanwhile, the metaverse has been caught in an extreme example of a ‘hype cycle.’ This is where wild enthusiasm about a new technology turns to widespread rejection, as its reality fails to live up to what is claimed for it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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