University of Michigan, Coursera Teaches in “extended reality” | SehndeWeb

The University of Michigan’s Center for Academic Innovation and ed-tech company Coursera are using “extended reality” (XR) technologies to create new courses to prepare students for jobs in increasingly digitized industries such as manufacturing and health care, the university announced Tuesday.

According to a press release, the classes will be part of the center’s upcoming Michigan Online Future of Work Academy, where learners “will develop essential skills for the future of work and society” in virtual, augmented and mixed.

“Learners and learning organizations must be agile and acquire new knowledge and skills to understand, shape and prepare for the future of work,” said James DeVaney, founding executive director of the center, in the announcement.


Lauren Atkins Budde, director of the university’s open learning initiatives, said the classes will include interactive 360-degree video content and mobile phone AR/VR simulations that can be accessed without a VR headset. She said the courses will focus on developing future work skills in data literacy and ethics, emerging technologies, leadership and self-management, among other topics.

The first series of courses to be launched next year on Coursera’s online learning platform will include: “Feedback Loops: How to Give and Get Better Feedback”, taught by Patrick Barry, Writing Program Director and academic support and clinical assistant professor of law. ; “People, Technology & Future of Mobility”, led by Liz Gerber, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science; and “Advancing Health Equity Through Continuing Education,” taught by Ebbin Dotson, Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy.

“The type of XR technology – and how it is used – will be unique to each course and centered around the needs of the learner,” Budde said in an email to Government Technology. “A course will leverage 360[-degree] interactive videos to create practice opportunities to develop effective feedback loops. Another will develop a set of augmented reality experiences to teach key nursing skills to support workforce growth in this profession following the impact of COVID. Other courses will leverage XR to explore the future of mobility and manufacturing in new ways. »

Coursera content manager Betty Vandenbosch says the courses will explore topics such as AR/VR in manufacturing, implicit biases, nursing skills, and learning experience design, among others. .

“With XR learning, students can practice hand surgery 100 times before practicing in a lab. It can also help develop human skills, such as feedback,” she said of the potential applications of XR “In a future where higher education is mixed, I believe XR courses will become more ubiquitous, especially once learners see how much it can help them hone their skills.”

The creation of the academy comes as post-secondary and workforce development programs increasingly use AR/VR tools to provide hands-on training activities for students. A notable example is in Arkansas, where workforce development managers recently announced their use of virtual reality tools to publicize technical career areas that need candidates.

According to the press release, the university has already used AR/VR technology in College of Architecture courses that explore design challenges in virtual environments, as well as its nursing school for training in augmented procedures. The university also offers a graduate certificate in extended reality and an online course called “XR for Everybody” that introduces students to AR/VR technologies.

Budde said the launch of the academy is part of the university’s Extended Reality initiative, which brings together innovative faculty, students and industry partners to see what XR technology has to offer the world. education sector.

“Now we combine these areas of expertise to leverage XR technology for immersive, enriching, transformative and flexible online experiences for learners,” she said in an email.

Jeremy Nelson, director of the Extended Reality Initiative, said the new XR courses represent “an exciting next step in the evolution of bringing XR to the world for teaching and learning.”

“For the past two years, we’ve focused our efforts on bringing XR to residential learners on the Ann Arbor campus, and now we’re bringing immersive learning at scale,” he said in a statement. public statement. “We will be pushing the boundaries in so many areas and we’re thrilled to have a partner like Coursera to work with to shape the future of learning and the future of work.”

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