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University of Michigan Launching XR-Enhanced Courses on Coursera

The University of Michigan has partnered with Coursera to launch 10 new courses that will use extended reality to provide immersive experiences in critical job skills. Delivered on the Coursera platform, the courses will cover topics such as human skills, future thinking and healthcare, said Betty Vandenbosch, chief content officer at Coursera, in a blog post.

The university is developing the XR learning content using video wall technology and virtual production tools that enable creators to mix live-action footage and computer graphics in real time, Vandenbosch explained. The resulting simulations will provide hands-on learning experiences and skills training. "Faculty will be able to transport learners to prospective future cities around the world to highlight the potential impacts of electrification or help learners practice giving and receiving feedback in authentic-feeling environments," she said. The content will be accessible on mobile devices, with no VR headset required.

"Learners and learning organizations must be agile and acquire new knowledge and skills to understand, shape, and prepare for the future of work," commented James DeVaney, founding executive director of the University of Michigan's Center for Academic Innovation. "Coursera is a leading voice and platform in online education and offers easy access to millions who need to learn these skills. The Center for Academic Innovation is a leader in open learning and immersive storytelling. Together, we will leverage XR technology to bring online learning to the next level. A new kind of scalable experiential learning that allows for deeper understanding by combining learning design, engagement, art, presence, and storytelling."

The first three courses — People, Technology & Future of Mobility; Advancing Health Equity Through Continuing Education; and Feedback Loops: How to Give and Get Better Feedback — will begin in early 2023. Topics for future courses include AR/VR in manufacturing, implicit bias, nursing skills and learning experience design.

For more information, visit the Coursera blog.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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