Students have since been transported to different virtual worlds from an ordinary table with some VR headsets. One student kept turning her head viewing a 360-degree video, while someone next to her floated through a spaceship as an astronaut and another experienced a day in the life as a beaver called ‘Justin Beaver’.

During the event, Desiderius Erasmus addressed the audience with an American accent, visitors were able to discover Rotterdam’s underground infrastructure in a holographic environment or step into Facebook’s Metaverse using VR headsets.

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Virtual practical experience

‘Immersive’ learning is a learning method which involves students being actively and deeply engaged in an experiential and virtual learning environment, explains Vanessa Abel of Erasmus X. “Psychology and Sociology students, for example, are able to get hands-on experience in a safe environment”, she says about the technology’s potential. Students stand to learn a great deal by simulating situations. As a result, she is calling for immersive technology to ‘become part of traditional education’. She believes that within traditional education students do not develop enough practical knowledge and experience – despite this being hugely important in our digital society.


Technology gives students the opportunity to apply the theory in a different way. Images are more memorable than text and reading alone means we only retain a small portion of knowledge. As a result, immersive technology can be an asset to education. “The technology combines theory and visuals, allowing the student to develop a deeper connection to the knowledge”, Abel explains.

Her colleague Marta Stachowiak-de Wit of the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics adds: “Because immersive technology makes us absorb more, we are more involved in the theory and design of our teaching, which may make students more effective experts.”