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Virtual Reality For Universities


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Universities can utilize virtual reality as a transformational technology and benefit in many ways. We detail a few ideas including business model enhancement, instruction, and many other uses. All are perfect for an innovative and forward-thinking university.

For more virtual reality perspectives and details about our services, check out RT Virtual Reality (

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Virtual Reality For Universities

  1. 1. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC Virtual Reality: The Opportunity for Universities August 5, 2017
  2. 2. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 2 Introduction Universities are seeing competitive pressures for the first time in modern history. And it’s not surprising, as their core business model hasn’t changed much over the last century. Understandably so, as universities are seeing record student applications, have strong financial positions, and a job market that overwhelmingly requires a degree. However, staying stagnant looks like a big mistake. Silicon Valley has turned to the university model and decided there is opportunity for disruption. Between coding bootcamps, online courses, and even VC funded university competitors, there is more competitive activity each year. And we see that accelerating. Universities ought to be considering their core operating model. Is the curriculum suitable for current and future generations? Does it sufficiently embrace modern technology? Are students achieving the outcomes they seek? And where could this model be disrupted? In considering these questions, we believe universities are perfect for embracing virtual reality. It’s among the most interesting education technology resources we’ve seen. And it appears to be the next dominant communication medium, set to replace screens (PCs, televisions, mobile, etc). Virtual reality can usher in a whole new era for the university
  3. 3. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 3 Virtual reality has been around for decades. But only recently has the technology reached a level suitable for mass consumption. We’re finally at a time where computing memory, graphics, processing power, connectivity bandwidth, and hardware engineering have converged to make a quality product possible. Virtual reality was released to the broad market between 2015-2016. Five dominant players are manufacturing hardware: Sony (Playstation), Google (Daydream), Facebook/Oculus (Rift), Samsung (Gear), and HTC (Vive). There are other smaller manufacturers in the market as well. This has been the first release and like all major new technology before it, forecasted adoption is small compared to established markets like PCs, mobile, etc. Since that initial release, however, a lot of progress is being made toward mass consumption levels. All the world’s major tech companies are investing substantially. Developers and investors are taking notice and entering the industry en masse. And hardware manufacturers are releasing specs for the next round of technology. Observers all agree that this is a high growth, high potential industry. The potential for disruption is substantial across many industries… communications, social media, education, entertainment, and more. RT Virtual Reality believes this is an opportunity on par with a mid 1990s Internet based investment. As we know, some of our largest companies were created in those 10-20 years. The world transformed itself in an era known as the Information Age. Everything we do has been transformed. Every industry. This is why universities should be taking notice today! Adoption was relatively slow back then. Curriculum and education adoption generally lags new technology and innovation. Introduction
  4. 4. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 4 But rather than starting from behind, forward-looking universities can make strategic virtual reality investments to prosper in the coming decades. Among the things they can achieve: - Revenue generating applications - Leading educational experiences and student outcomes - Technology driven operating model - Protection from disruption - Modernizing the curriculum This proposal will outline basic ideas in how and why you should make virtual reality investments TODAY. RT Virtual Reality then provides more detailed, customized services to partner universities based on individual goals. Our contact information and service details are found in the back of this paper. Introduction Section Page University Virtual Reality Uses - For Instruction - For Business Model Enhancements - For Additional Uses 5 The University’s VR Business Case 8 Additional Things to Consider About VR 9 RT Virtual Reality – How We Can Help You Benefit 10
  5. 5. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 5 Instruction VR Uses Universities can use virtual reality to strengthen instructional capabilities. This may be VR’s greatest strength and will undoubtedly find its way into education. Universities ought to consider making investments today so they can benefit over the next 5 years Opportunities (when will tech support this?) Description Teaching Resource (Today) Where possible, replace textbooks with a more immersive learning experience. Replace them with VR apps (or use existing ones) that teach certain subjects better (history, science, philosophy, geography, among others). VR has already proven to be more engaging and improves retention compared to conventional teaching methods. Start with lessons and move to full courses as the tech improves Skill Based Education (2-4 years) For subjects that require skill enhancement, VR simulations allow students to practice independently. VR can be this practice aid in subjects like medicine, music, art, engineering, architecture, and more. Virtual Office Hours (2-4 years) Connect to professors and teaching staff via virtual offices. Geography and convenience limit office hour effectiveness; virtual offices allow an equally interpersonal experience The Virtual Classroom (3-6 years) Classrooms can be replicated in a virtual world. This allows students more flexibility in scheduling, geography, and auditing classes. It also lowers facility costs/requirements.
  6. 6. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 6 Business Model VR Uses Universities can use virtual reality to change or diversify their business model. The idea is to modernize for the evolving student’s needs, while also improving the university’s revenue/cost model. Opportunities (when will tech support this?) Description A Global Education Model (5-7 years) • Make campus learning a more optional or part- time endeavor. You can attract students without geographical constraint by moving more content to the digital/virtual space. • Consider affiliating grad programs with employers all over the world to improve outcomes. • Consider setting up smaller satellite campuses around the world (with scale in delivery). This is a true tool for expanding in many ways. Raising Class Size (3-6 years) Class size has historically been constrained by faculty and facilities. With VR and other digital teaching methods, you can scale and admit more students (full-time, part-time, or through other models). The tech is capable soon but this may take longer to shift the business model. A La Carte Education Products (Today) • Sell additional education to alumni. • Offer individual classes or a series of classes to outside customers. • Provide an alternate to full degree programs (skill based programs, job training programs, etc). The possibilities are endless here and each brings more revenue, better branding opportunities, and other benefits.
  7. 7. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 7 Additional VR Uses Virtual reality goes beyond just instruction and business model. There are many other potential use cases for the university and its many activities. All are designed to enhance and expand current capabilities. Opportunities (when will tech support this?) Description Admissions Marketing (Today) Do virtual campus tours and other innovative marketing apps as a means of staying competitive in admissions Brand Name Marketing (Today) You can choose to build apps under your university’s brand name. They might not offer the full classroom and professor experience but still increase revenue and enhance brand prestige in education topics. Consider lecture series, panel discussions, research discoveries, and other educational topics Research (2-4 years) Use VR as a resource for research across a wide range of disciplines: psychology, sociology, neuroscience, technology, physical sciences, and more Staff Training (Today) Train all staff using VR (where appropriate). This includes professors, teaching assistants, researchers, athletic department staff, administrators, and more. Student athletes can also benefit from game simulations in VR.
  8. 8. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 8 University’s Business Case Governments that are proactive in “winning” the race for virtual reality supremacy can benefit in substantial ways. But how should you invest? RT Virtual Reality can get more detailed with ideas, use cases, and the specific business case for certain investment types but here are some generic opportunities… Invest In… Benefit VR Content (apps, services, products) - Improve the learning quality of various subjects (immersion over memorization) - Modernize your curriculum and business model - Diversify your revenue using the wealth of education resources at your disposal VR Marketing - Build your brand to prospective students and other constituents - Differentiate your offerings compared to other schools, education options - Marketing for other university activities (athletics, donors, etc) VR Internal Applications - Improve training across all university functions - Provide a new, innovative research tool - Mass communication tool for students (orientation, graduation, mandatory training, etc)
  9. 9. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 9 What Else to Consider? At RT Virtual Reality, we help businesses, institutions, governments, etc consider all elements of a VR investment. What other considerations are important before taking the next step? VR Strengths & Weaknesses Why is virtual reality destined to become such a dominant medium? What are its limitations? We explore these variables in our article LINK The Road to VR Mass Adoption In order to understand VR’s current state vs its future, we look at the current version’s issues, and predictions for how they will be fixed LINK VR For Business The introduction to thinking about virtual reality in a business, government, or investment context. This video series considers VR’s present & future LINK • Story-telling in Virtual Reality • List of All Business Use Cases (>100) • How to Create & Distribute A VR App • What is Good VR vs Bad VR • Education in VR – A Mass Brainstorm • Much more (customized for you) On RT Virtual Reality website ( Premium Content Included With Our Services:
  10. 10. © 2017 Reverse Tide LLC 10 RT Virtual Reality How can we help your university more specifically? We provide many services to bring a positive VR investment to education clients VR Market Assessment VR Strategy VR Content Creation Full Education Consulting A one-time assessment that helps university administration understand VR’s potential: - Understand the VR market - Sample current apps - Brainstorm ways to use it as a resource - Detail current use cases - Forecast its future viability We provide a holistic strategy for university virtual reality use: - A detailed financial business case - Specific use cases, strategies and outcomes - Project planning (budget, timeline, resources, etc) - Vendor selection - Presentations, approvals, etc We manage the project to create your custom VR education content and development: - Content tech and non-tech specifications - Manage development and design - Benefit realization tracking - Tech Support Education is our specialty. And while we’re passionate about virtual reality specifically, we’re happy to focus on your holistic needs: - Evaluating other business model improvements - Additional technology opportunities - Modernizing the curriculum - Skill based learning programs