Author ORCID Identifier

Jiarong Liang: https://orcid.org/0009-0000-2272-3291

Heng Luo: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6551-8885


The metaverse, as a more advanced form of virtual reality, has great potential for education because of its unique affordances for enhancing immersion, interaction, and presence. However, because its development is still in its infancy, there are few empirical studies on the application of metaverse in education, with insufficient empirical evidence from the literature regarding its effectiveness and valued design features, as well as its advantages and disadvantages as a technology-enhanced learning environment. Utilizing the case study method, this study designed and implemented a 40-minute psychology course with 31 undergraduate students in the metaverse using the Virbela platform and collected both quantitative and qualitative data to empirically explore the benefits and challenges of the educational metaverse. The quantitative results showed that the students reported good learning experiences in the metaverse, but their learning outcomes were unsatisfactory, just over the passing level. The qualitative results revealed useful design features and common technical challenges of the educational metaverse. Based on the results, several implications for designing and developing effective courses in the educational metaverse were proposed.

First Page


Last Page


Ethics Approval


Declaration Statement

1. Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the study was conducted in the absence of any business or financial relationship that could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest.

2.Author contributions

Conceptualization, HL; Methodology, HL, GL; Formal analysis, JL, GL, FZ; Surveys, JL, GL and FZ; Writing - first draft preparation, JL; Writing - review and editing, HL and DF; Visualization, GL; Supervision, HL and DF; Funding acquisition, HL and DF All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 62177021] and the Hubei Higher Education Teaching and Research Program (Hubei, China) [Grant No. 2020709].

4. Data Availability Statement

The data presented in this study are available upon request from the corresponding author. Due to anonymity requirements, these data are not publicly available.