Arizona State University puts students on an alien world for biology class

Together with

The Future. Arizona State University partnered with Dreamscape Immersive on a VR bio course where lab classes take place in a virtual alien environment, giving students the ability to test concepts in a way that’s both entertaining and educational. If the programs become commonplace, they may make every class a highly accessible study abroad program.

Study intergalactic program
ASU is trading in microscopes for VR headsets, thanks to Men in Black producer Walter Parkes’ Dreamscape Immersive.

  • Dreamscape Learn puts intro bio students into an alien world via VR headsets and an “on-campus motion capture environment.”
  • Students gather data and collect observations in the alien world, analyze the findings in the real world, and then go back into VR to conduct experiments not possible in the real world.
  • Aside from biological concepts, the experience is designed to teach problem-solving skills and data analysis.

Over 12,000 students have already gone through the class, which ASU alleges has boosted student performance, especially among groups historically underrepresented in higher ed, according to Fast Company. Other universities are now getting in on the action.

Additionally, Dreamscape and ASU are working on experiences for courses in chemistry, art history, and astronomy. It looks like every major may soon have a virtual study abroad program.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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