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Virtual worlds for real experiences

Inaugural lecture: Virtual worlds for real experiences

Tuesday 20 June 2017, 4:00 - 5:00 pm

The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA


Professor Shailey Minocha’s inaugural lecture on Virtual worlds for real experiences is on Tuesday 20 June.

Shailey Minocha is a Professor in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at The Open University. Her research has two strands: learning technologies and social computing.

Professor Minocha will show how virtual worlds bridge time and places, interleaving the virtual with the real – allowing people to communicate and collaborate with those whom they may have never met, experience places they may never be able to visit, shop, learn, and do research.

Professor Minocha will look at how virtual worlds provide ‘real’ experiences in ‘created’ environments – ‘as if I have met them’, or ‘as if I have visited that place’. Online technologies also provide real experiences beyond the physical world. She will show how in a virtual world, people can “become” an avatar of their liking, fly, become microscopic, travel to the moon or visit the International Space Station, or look at the rock structures underneath the ground on which they are standing.

Virtual worlds also give us a means to overcome physical limitations to address problems such as loneliness, geographical isolation, and cultural differences and Professor Minocha will draw on her research into social isolation and loneliness in older people to describe how her research is helping them.

Professor Minocha said: “Although these worlds are not real, people engage with and within these virtual worlds to socialise, to connect with people and places, and to learn and construct new knowledge and real experiences.”

If you are attending in person there will be networking, discussion opportunities and refreshments after the event.

This link will be live before the event. If you are viewing the event by livestream, please do take the opportunity to have your questions answered by our speakers live during the event by posting in the comments box.

Professor Shailey Minocha

Professor of Learning Technologies and Social Computing

School of Computing and Communications

Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Research activity