The virtual reality of time travel

Time travel could soon be a virtual reality for students around the world thanks to scientists from the University of Glasgow.

Glasgow University research into VR learning

Learning through VR

Academics at the University’s Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience are collaborating with Glasgow-based virtual reality experts Sublime on a £1million initiative to create a higher education platform that will transform lives and the way students learn.

Project Mobius is a three year pilot using immersive technology to create high quality teaching apps or lectures to be housed on the custom-made platform.

The aim is to allow students in Glasgow, studying topics including physics, chemistry, geology, anatomy, philosophy and history, to receive schooling through a VR teaching and learning experience.

“This is a very exciting project which will help us gain a deeper understanding of how people learn and retain information,” said Dr Neil McDonnell, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (Philosophy).

“This technology will allow students to travel inside a human body or take a visit to an important geological area from their lecture.

“The more students use the VR classrooms, the more data is generated on how students grasp and understand what they are being taught through this medium. This allows us to respond, evolve our approach and build exceptional teaching resources.”

Initially the University will build two high tech VR labs or classrooms with capacity for 15 students each at a time.

Such an ambitious project requires extensive testing, and Glasgow will use funding from Innovate UK to establish test-bed partnerships with universities from across the world.

Partner institutions will be able to benefit from these 10 apps, and the Mobius platform, within two years. The eventual aim is to translate these VR resources into other languages and have students and academics around the world benefitting from this cutting-edge project.

“We believe Project Mobius has huge and positive implications for educators and students. By harnessing the positives of immersive technology we will create a teaching experience that helps students gain insights and knowledge not currently open to them without VR,” said Prof. Fiona Macpherson, Principal Investigator on the project and Director of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience.

”Project Mobius is an exciting new addition to those based in the Centre. It adds to our research on all aspects of virtual and augmented reality including the nature of reality and perceptual experience, and the enormous impact that these technologies will have on our lives.”