Queen Mary students receive their first lecture in the Metaverse

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The conference is considered the first of the metaverse in the UK and can be an essential tool in the training of future doctors, nurses and surgeons.

The metaverse has several significant advantages over traditional online learning, according to Professor Ahmed. Students can replicate activities that were previously only possible in person, signaling a potentially watershed moment for education.

The Metaverse is a 3D virtual world where users create avatars of themselves to share spaces, collaborate, and do real things together. It’s a digital world filled with real people.

Professor Ahmed, a surgeon and lecturer in surgery at Queen Mary University of London, said: “It represents a significant change in the way we can deliver education, especially when there is a practical element like when we study medicine. Future education will rely on hybrid learning platforms.

“A 3D environment allows us to create 3D assets, for example an anatomical model, and interact with each other, which can be invaluable in teaching and is clearly not possible with Zoom or Teams. For example, we can simulate an actual medical procedure in virtual reality – which can be extremely useful technology to help train the doctors and surgeons of tomorrow.

“Of course, in-person instruction adds the most value, but we are certainly seeing a shift in how education can be delivered and enhanced with technology at our fingertips. And with more immersive learning opportunities using virtual reality rolling out across the country, there’s evidence to suggest these types of opportunities are here to stay.

Stephanie Marshall, Assistant Director (Education), at Queen Mary University of London, said: “I am always proud to see truly innovative education here at Queen Mary, and teaching students in a 3D world is a fantastic example of how we are constantly keen to experiment with the latest technology and provide our students with the better learning experience.

“I imagine those who attended will always remember the occasion and had a great time. By embracing all that technology has to offer, we can make higher education more interactive, inclusive and engaging for everyone. .

Periklis Giannakis, a medical student who attended the conference, said, “I absolutely loved the experience of being one of the very first medical students in the world to attend a conference in the metaverse. It made learning a lot more fun and I really enjoyed being able to interact with all the participants. It was very surreal as it felt like a real face-to-face conference, and I feel lucky to have been able to access this advanced technology.

Teaching students in the metaverse helps solve one of the main challenges with online learning – a lack of tools in place to enable science experiments or hands-on, hands-on activities in the same way that would otherwise be possible. in person.

The conference covered the metaverse of medical education and the digital transformation of medicine – helping students understand the technology that underpins some of today’s modern healthcare. Students joined via a desktop VR app or an Oculus headset.

Students were also able to enjoy a more interactive experience with group teaching also facilitated by the technological features of the virtual reality world, compared to the traditional online experience.

It is expected that more lectures will take place in this format, with further modules of the course planned for other students who wish to experience a teaching session via virtual reality.

Professor Ahmed has a history of pioneering technology in surgery, having previously taken students on virtual tours during the pandemic. He spent over six years at Queen Mary teaching using innovative technologies such as Google Glass, virtual reality, holograms, avatars and mixed reality.

Norma A. Roth