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ECIU XR Campus enables learners to solve real-life challenges in virtual reality

Published on 14.9.2021
Tampere University
Virtual reality enables new methods of problem solving, increases task-related focus, and improves social relations.

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions” – Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein’s famous quote illustrates how the first step in problem solving is to understand the core of the problem. This also applies to collaborative learning and teamwork: the harder the nut, the more creativity, curiosity, and experimentation is needed to crack it.

However, as many of us have noticed, working, and learning remotely makes all this particularly difficult. Conventional remote working tools simply cannot substitute the enjoyability and effectiveness of our real-world meetings.

For this reason, Tampere University and Zoan have developed XR Campus, a virtual reality (VR) learning environment for ECIU Universities. XR Campus takes challenge-based learning into the virtual sphere where students, researchers, and other ECIU stakeholders can solve real-life challenges in VR.

In XR Campus, avatar-based interaction, 3D space, and spatial sound simulate natural face-to-face communication. In addition, users can download and interact with 3D models, spawn sticky notes and whiteboards, watch 360-videos, use 3D drawing, and other features to boost their brainstorming activities in an intuitive manner. User avatars are made based on photos and can be customized, making it easy for people to recognise and get familiar with each other.

The benefits of XR Campus are manyfold. Our preliminary research suggests that VR enables new methods of problem solving, increases task-related focus, and improves social relations that, interestingly, are all well-known bottlenecks in high-performing remote work.

By taking the development of XR Campus into our own hands, we can also be assured of certain data privacy issues and avoid paying large license fees of other commercial solutions. Extending the platform with context-bound simulations, immersive workflows or other demanding content is now also in the hands of ECIU University.

EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will open XR campus on 20th September at 11:30 CET.  

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