Morehouse College, one of our nation’s renowned HBCUs, is preparing to announce a course in Black history that will be conducted through the metaverse, aka virtual reality (VR).
What can students expect in the classroom?
The course is titled “History of the African diaspora since 1800.” It will begin in the upcoming Spring 2023 semester and will be led by Dr. Ovell Hamilton.
Through the classroom, everyone will have the opportunity to see many moments in Black history from several centuries ago, NBC News report. We should also note that students will interact with each other through avatars, as opposed to physical interaction.
Participants will be able to experience moments like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Hamilton shared, they will also see Black soldiers on the battlefield, as well as 19th century slave ships.
“It’s an experience that you won’t get if you sit in the classroom, if you sit in the lecture hall. When you go there and see the bottom of a slave ship, see the slaves jostling… you will have a new appreciation and you will have a better understanding of how events unfolded.”
Morehouse embarked on an impactful Metaverse journey last year
Back in March 2021, Morehouse partnered with VictoryXR Academy, “a leading creator of educational content in virtual and augmented reality”.
This partnership allows students to begin taking multiple courses in a new format. Morehouse currently offers 10 different VR courses in fields such as journalism, English, biology and sociology.
While Morehouse’s metaverse project is already underway, the upcoming “History of the African diaspora since 1800” class will be the first VR course on Black history. However, components of this course were present in the world history class that Dr. Hamilton recently taught through the metaverse.
Kade Davis is a student in a VR world history class. The metaverse composition allows him to see historical structures like the Mayan pyramids in a new way.
“It was impressive to see that… like, outside of a textbook and being able to speak clearly and get into the environment and really learn more about it.”
Jerad Evan Young also took the class and he talked about seeing a slave ship through VR.
“It definitely evokes painful emotions. Also, there is a sense of pride because not everyone succeeds through the slave trade. You know, you have to be a really strong individual. So that tells me that my ancestors were strong enough to make that arduous journey across the sea.”
Would you rather take a history class through the metaverse or would you rather stick with the physical classes?