By Shravan Goli, Chief Operating Officer, Coursera
Augmented, mixed, and virtual realities are poised to reshape education and work. The global markets for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) specifically are projected to reach $88 billion by 2026.
Today, we’re excited to announce new VR-enabled course experiences from Duke University, Peking University, and the University of Washington, which harness the power of VR to make learning even more engaging. Additionally, to help learners develop job-relevant AR skills, we’ve launched a new AR Professional Certificate and Specialization from Meta. The new experiences and content are available to learners on Coursera today.
Experience new VR features in popular courses from leading universities
Three popular courses in human physiology, Chinese language, and public speaking now have VR experiences to help learners engage with concepts more deeply. The VR additions complement the courses’ existing lecture videos, readings, and assessments, are designed for learners of all educational backgrounds, and increase in difficulty as a learner progresses through the course material. They can be experienced via desktop or most VR headsets and are available in both paid and audited versions of each course. Coursera worked closely with Duke, Peking, and the University of Washington to create these new experiences, along with support from Meta.
Introductory Human Physiology from Duke University: Learners will be transported through different physiological systems to develop a holistic understanding of the human body. From being immersed within the walls of a blood vessel to measuring a patient’s blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer device, the course’s VR components will provide up-close views and gamified tasks to deepen key concepts and vocabulary, specifically around the topic of blood pressure.
Chinese for Beginners from Peking University: This course teaches beginner-level Mandarin Chinese for basic daily conversations, such as ordering food or discussing hobbies. Through VR, learners will virtually travel to a Chinese market and interact with native Chinese speakers to practice listening, speaking, pronunciation, and applying vocabulary.
Introduction to Public Speaking from the University of Washington: Learners can hone their skills in realistic environments via VR, beginning backstage with speech practice and preparation techniques before delivering their final speech in front of an audience. They’ll have the opportunity to change venue type (auditorium or conference room), adjust audience attributes (restless or calm), and receive feedback and coaching from the professor in real time. By performing a short speech in VR, learners can track improvements in self-awareness, technique, and confidence.
These new experiences expand the immersive coursework on Coursera. The University of Michigan (U-M) already offers courses in health equity, the future of mobility, and giving effective feedback that use extended reality (XR) on Coursera. Each U-M course includes immersive 360-videos, allowing learners to interact with course material in new ways. Together with our university and industry partners, we’re excited to continue rolling out new immersive learning content over the coming months and years. Partners interested in adding immersive components to their courses can contact their Coursera Partnership Manager to learn more.
Learn how to build AR experiences with new content from Meta
Meta is launching a new Professional Certificate and Specialization on Coursera to help learners build in-demand, job-relevant AR skills. Both are available today to learners globally and, upon completion of either one, learners will gain exclusive access to the Meta Career Programs Job Board, which includes 200+ employers looking to source talent through Meta learning programs.
- Meta AR Developer Professional Certificate: This advanced, six-course certificate teaches learners about AR, including the nuances of AR within social media, browsers, and mobile apps. Learners will explore how to build AR applications for marketing, education, gaming, and entertainment, using the latest tools including Unity, Meta Spark, Vuforia, Playcanvas, and more. The certificate is designed for learners with software development experience. To get the requisite background, learners can first take Meta’s entry-level Front-End Developer certificate on Coursera.
- Meta Spark Creator AR Certification Prep Specialization: Learners can hone their AR knowledge with this beginner, three-course Specialization. On top of getting hands-on experience with Meta Spark and other key tools, the Specialization specifically prepares learners to take the Meta Certification Meta Spark Creator Certification Exam.
Last year Meta also created What is the Metaverse?, a free, beginner-level course to help make sense of the metaverse and illustrate how both individuals and companies might participate in it. It’s attracted more than 45,000 global enrollments since launching on Coursera in late 2022.
Download the free Coursera app in the Quest Store and start your immersive learning journey today.