VR at Morehouse began in the fall of 2020 as the school was looking for ways to engage their remote students and prevent them from leaving the school. One of the 13 virtual reality courses offered this semester as a part of Morehouse College’s Virtual Reality Project is “History of the African Diaspora Since 1800″ by professor Ovell Hamilton. He says, “It’s a total different experience than just sitting in a classroom lecture or on Zoom.”
Virtual Reality creates a new method of teaching and deepens empathy when studying history. In order to engage his pupils, Hamilton chose to attempt it. Evan Young, a sophomore in Hamilton’s Black history course said experiencing things like a slave ship in virtual reality is “transformational. As an African American man, it was a little hard to take, but it was necessary at the same time.”
The Virtual Reality experiment has worked well for the school thus far, as there were no attendance drops in their VR classes, as well as an improvement in student achievement. “We made it, in their opinion, the magic school bus; a field trip,” Virtual Reality Project manager Muhsinah Morris said. Morris, a chemistry professor, plans to expand the program through every field the school offers. She wants to emphasize the importance of experiential learning as well as to bring a new excitement to both sides of the educational system.