Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ) has become the first university to provide education on the metaverse in its virtual world, “Starverse.”
The virtual reality supported metaverse platform “YTÜ Starverse” was developed by faculty members and students at the university.
Tamer Yılmaz, the rector of the university, gave the first lesson on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” via this new technology with an avatar designed for him.
Students can attend classes on this digital education planet called “Starverse” with their digital avatars from anywhere.
Students who came to the classroom door were asked: “Would you like to attend the class?” With the answer “yes,” the door opened, and Yılmaz’s avatar greeted the students.
Attending the lecture in a lecture hall designed in the digital universe, 100 students were able to follow the lesson remotely from the computer screen or with augmented reality glasses.
While rector Yılmaz was explaining the agricultural societies in history, the students were able to observe the first age in a three-dimensional way.
Accordingly, when the subject of the Industrial Revolution came, the working system of the steam engine invented by James Watt appeared in front of the students in three dimensions.
“We aspire to be at the forefront of the digitalized future of education in Turkiye.If you want to be a leading person or institution, you need to innovate,” Yılmaz said.
Expressing that teaching in a virtual classroom for the first time was a special experience, Yılmaz pointed out that to be teleported to an environment suitable for the subject and to able to go to Mars while talking about space are much more than just sitting in a classroom and writing on the board.
Ertan Toy, a member of YTÜ, stated that the pandemic showed the whole world the importance of distance education platforms.
“YTÜ Starverse” is a domestic and national metaverse platform where academics and students of the university work together and where the university’s own resources and infrastructure are used, Toy noted.
“The course administrators can move the avatars of students to the environments created according to the subject of a lesson. In the opening lecture, we teleported our students to the agricultural society thousands of years ago,” he explained.
Stating that the metaverse team continues its works to develop the “Starverse,” Toy noted that with the planned innovations, students will be able to purchase licensed virtual clothes for their avatars.
“We will also establish a virtual cultural planet where cultural activities will take place, including concert halls, museums and exhibition areas,” he added.