Virtual Reality has the potential to change how we shop, learn in school, and get treated in the hospital. Businesses are hunting for people who understand how to design technology and experiences for this new medium. Starting today, we’re excited to make it possible for anyone to become leaders in applying VR to enhance everything from gaming to training.
The Virtual Reality Specialization, launching today, is taught by Dr. Sylvia Pan and Dr. Marco Gillies from Goldsmiths, University of London, based on their combined 25 years’ experience working in some of the world’s most well-known Virtual Reality labs. Their expertise is in the generation of interactive and engaging virtual characters, a primary focus in the new Specialization they teach on Coursera.
“Many of the mistakes made by Virtual Reality content creators come from not understanding the psychology of how VR works and what it means for how we create content, which is an important feature of this Specialization,” said Dr Marco Gillies. “In Virtual Reality users need to physically interact so they feel present in the surrounding environment. This means other characters must respond in the same way they would in the real world.”
“These courses combine theory – the basic psychology of how VR works – with practical production skills. All the time learners are doing the practical work, they are also having to think about the psychology behind it.”
The Specialization includes five course modules, starting with an introduction to Virtual Reality, designed for non-technical learners interested in gaining a basic understanding of the applications of VR. At the end, learners have the chance to use the skills developed in each course to create their own Virtual Reality game. Throughout the Specialization, learners get hands-on experience using leading technology tools for Virtual Reality, including Unity.
“The potential for Virtual Reality to change the way we work, learn, and play is significant, but we need more people educated in VR technologies and design to get there,” said Jessica Lindl, Unity’s Global Head of Education. “This series of courses from the University of London is a great example of a credential that can really help anyone interested in applying Virtual Reality in the work that they do.”6