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Reclaiming the Metaverse

13. april kl 10:00 - 14. april kl 16:30

Technocrat 1 1


Welcome to an academic seminar about the role of the metaverse in higher education. The metaverse is a name for the emerging use of mixed reality technologies in all our lives, ranging from simple AR filters on your phone to advanced VR simulations. We argue that the metaverse and its content has to be reclaimed by teachers and students for it to gain a more valuable function in society. 

The metaverse is not very popular in the public eye at the present time. There is criticism, skepticism and ridicule of Silicon Valley’s high-flying, and so far seemingly failed ambitions. However, the term and its potential should not be flushed out with the bathwater. We want to reclaim the metaverse for research and development in academic institutions. For two days we will discuss how we as teachers and researchers can contribute.

There are many ongoing explorations of VR and AR at universities, and these can be interpreted as contributions to the long-term construction of a public metaverse. It would have meaningful and balanced content that is grounded in the users' lifeworld and environment. Such initiatives complement the commercial initiatives from Meta and other global media tech companies. 

How should this immersive space be designed to suit valuable communicative interests? How can teachers and students at universities contribute? And how can our ongoing explorations of documentary storytelling, interviews, skills training, history teaching, museum experience, among other things, become part of the metaverse? What are the limits, ethically, technically and practically, to the construction of the metaverse as a public sphere?

We are asking these questions partly because the TekLab milieu considers applying for status as a Norwegian Centre for Excellence in Education at the next deadline in late 2025. Discussions at this seminar could lead to a work package in the application addressing the metaverse and its future.


The seminar is organized by TekLab and the Research Group for Computer Games and Virtual Environments at the University of Bergen. The program is curated by TekLab Director Lars Nyre and Professor Andy Opel from Florida State University. Andy was a Fulbright Teacher in Media City Bergen in 2019/20 and taught with us at MIX202.


Speakers should prepare a presentation of approximately 20 minutes, and leave 10 minutes for discussion.

Thursday 13th April: 10.00 - 17.30

Location: Seminar room 2 in UiB's campus in Media City Bergen.

09.30 - 10.00. DJ Syrenyre and coffee. It's good if people arrive early so you can chat and settle in.

10.00 – 10.30. Welcome! Introduction from Kristine Jørgensen, Dean of Education at the Social Science Faculty, University of Bergen. Everybody introduces themselves briefly so we know who we all are. Introduction from Director of TekLab Lars Nyre, University of Bergen.

10.30 – 11.00. Andy Opel, Florida State University: "Teaching in the Metaverse: The Opportunities and Challenges of Immersive Technologies in The Classroom". Please read this TekLab interview with Andy.

11.00 - 11.30. Malia Bruker, Florida State University: "Threshold: 360 Filmmaking in Higher Education". Please watch Malia's film by clicking on this link.

11.30 – 11.45.Break.

11.45 – 13.00. Panel and discussion: "The role of young researchers in teaching and researching new technology". PhD candidate Fredrik Jensen and researcher Joakim Vindenes (PhD) will tell us about their experiences with teaching and researching in several iterations of the course MIX202. This course is orginzed to allow for an explorative openness we call innovation pedagogy. There will be approximately 30 minutes presentations and 45 minutes open discussion. Lars Nyre chairs the panel. Please read these stories at TekLab about the course iteration run by Fredrik in 2021 and the iteration run by Fredrik and Joakim in 2022.(both in Norwegian). Oda Elise Nordberg had to cancel her appearence due to illness in the family.

13.00 – 14.00. Lunch at the MCB Canteen at TekLab's expense.

14.00 – 14.30. Richard Misek, University of Bergen. "Filmmaking in Virtual Reality" In autumn 2022, I invited ‘VR filmmaker’ Joe Hunting to UiB to lead a series of workshops on documentary-making in virtual reality. In this presentation, I demonstrate the basic technique of filming in virtual reality, discuss the ontological distinction between creating virtual worlds and filming inside them, and show one of the short student-made documentaries that resulted from the workshops. Please read the TekLab portrait interview with Richard.

14.30 – 15.00. Miroslav Bachinski, University of Bergen. "Move your body in the Metaverse!" It's impossible to imagine a truly immersive environment without full body representation and natural movement control. This presentation will cover technologies related to full body input and interaction on the users' side, as well as challenges for research and design from the developers' perspective. Please read this TekLab presentation of MIX 301 master course Miroslav ran last semester.

15.00 – 15.30. Drew Kocur, Florida State University: “Everything old is new again: recreating our virtual future”. This latest wave of Virtual Reality development is being led by industry and not academia. What role can Universities play in creating this new space without repeating past mistakes?

15.30 - 16.00. Simon Iden, University of Bergen: "Augmented Reality for watching television: Can we provide a customised experience by using AR?" We might watch the same show but have very different needs while doing so. By using AR the project explores a possible way of making American football accessible to more people - without sacrificing the experience for others.

16.00 – 16.15. Coffee Break.

16.15 – 16.45. Audun Klyve Gulbrandsen, TekLab, University of Bergen, Spello: "Open source XR frameworks" Audun talks about his experiences from using open source frameworks in museum projects. What are the advantages/disadvantages? How should we approach open source in research and education? Audun is accompanied by master students Sindre Stolberg Fardal and Theodor Norill Kvalvaag from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences who tell us about their project. Please read the TekLab portrait interview with Audun (in Norwegian).

16.45 - 17.15. Floris van den Oever, University of Bergen and Abel van Beek, former master student, now Vizrt. "AR for sailing". We will demonstrate Sjør with two HoloLens 2s and give a short presentation. It'd be nice if we could let people try Sjør on the hololenses at other times during the seminar. Please read Abel's article about his master project at TekLab.

17.15 – 17.30. Takeaways from the day. Plenary discussion.

19.30. Dinner at Olivia Zachariasbryggen. TekLab sponsors the meal plus one drink unit. 🙂


Friday April 14th April: 10.00 - 16.30

Location: NCE Media Lab in Media City Bergen. 

09.30 - 10.00. DJ Syrenyre and coffee.

10.00–10.30. Gunnar Liestøl, Dept. of Media & Communication, University of Oslo. “Indirect Augmented Reality, past/future simulations and student participation”. Experiences from fifteen years of experimentation with AR–simulation of archaeological sites, historical events and climate change in collaboration with MA– and BA–students.

10.30 – 11.00. Mohammad Javad Khajavi, Volda University College: "The Meta-versed Animator: A Future of Immersive Animation-making inside Virtual Reality". Based on a forthcoming book, this presentation explores the cutting-edge intersection of virtual reality and animation, and offers insights into how those who are "meta-versed" in these areas can take advantage of emerging technologies to push the boundaries of immersive storytelling.

11.00 – 11.30. Jon Hoem, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences: "Spherical media and haptic interfaces". Leading up to the music festival Borealis in 2026, a group of artist/researchers will create the opera Zosimos. The opera will be performed across four cities. Parts of the virtual scenography will be based on documentation of the various locations, utilising spherical media. Scenography and specially built instruments will allow actors to interact across the sites.

11.30 – 12.00. Rucha Tulaskar and Markku Turunen: ‘Educational collaboration in the Metaverse’. We present an overview of the Metaverse projects led by Markku from the Pervasive Interaction Research Group (PRIG) along with the outcomes of two courses we conducted in metaverses. We will also present the experience of a VR workshop we are conducting in collaboration with Prof Andy Opel. Markku will present online and Rucha will be at the venue.

12.00 – 12.30. Cody Gallo, master student in media and interaction design at the University of Bergen. "Director's ViewAR: A case study in heads-up computing". Cody presents a prototype AR application in the domain of film and TV production that demonstrates how AR mediated interaction can get us off the desktop computer and back out in the world interacting with humans.

12.30 - 13.00. Rebecca Nedregotten Strand, PhD student at Volda University College: "Why the sound of our past has an important role to play in the Metaverse". Please explore Rebecca's media prototype "Pastfinder" in this TekLab article (in Norwegian).

13.00 – 14.00. Lunch at the MCB Canteen at TekLab's expense.

14.00 - 14.30. Amir Bashti Monfared, PhD student at Volda University College: "The characteristics of narrative engagement in VR documentaries". In the context of the documentary effect, Amir will see how the qualities of narrative engagement are different in conventional and VR documentaries.

14.30 – 15.00. Maud Eurydice Ceuterick, University of Bergen: "Virtual Book project: From Cinema to Virtual Reality and Back: Aesthetics, Technologies, and Spectatorship» Presentation of a book project and call for interest to transform a paper book into virtual book.

15.00 - 16.00. Closing discussion. Let us imagine that we were to apply for status as a Norwegian Centre for Excellence in Education at the next deadline in late 2025, and that the topics dealt with at this seminar were center stage. How should we organize ourselves? What are the best arguments for exploring the Metaverse in higher education? Lars Nyre chairs the discussion and takes notes.

16.00 - 16.30. Informal chat and farewells.



Andy Opel, professor, Florida State University, USA.

Malia Bruker, associate professor, Florida State University, USA.

Drew Kocur, master student, Florida State University, USA.

Rucha Tulaskar, researcher, Tampere University, Finland.

Gunnar Liesøl, professor, University of Oslo.

Sigmund Trageton, university lecturer, University of Stavanger.

Jon Hoem, associate professor, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Kjetil Vaage Øie, associate professor, Volda University College.

Janina Wildermuth, master from Volda University College, journalist in TekLab.

Amir Bashti Monfared, PhD candidate, Volda University College.

Mohammad Javad Khajavi, associate professor, Volda University College.

Rebecca Nedregotten Strand, PhD candidate, Volda University College and University of Bergen.

Lars Nyre, professor, University of Bergen, director of TekLab.

Kristine Jørgensen, professor, University of Bergen, dean of the Social Science Faculty.

Maud Eurydice Ceuterick, researcher, University of Bergen.

Richard Misek, associate professor, University of Bergen.

Miroslav Bachinski, associate professor, University of Bergen.

John Magnus Ragnhilldson Dahl, postdoc at Media Futures, University of Bergen.

Fredrik Håland Jensen, PhD candidate, University of Bergen.

Oda Elise Nordberg, PhD candidate, University of Bergen.

Floris van den Oever, PhD candidate, University of Bergen.

Linda Mohamed Aly, PhD candidate at University of Surrey, UK and visiting researcher at the University of Bergen.

Abel van Beek,  master from University of Bergen, software developer at Vizrt.

Joakim Vindenes, PhD from the University of Bergen. XR developer in Equinor.

Fahmy Zulfikar, head engineer and visual aesthetics teacher, University of Bergen.

Audun Klyve Gulbrandsen, lecturer, University of Bergen, project developer at TekLab, CEO of Spello.

Cody Gallo, master student, University of Bergen.

Simon Iden, master student, University of Bergen.



13. april kl 10:00
14. april kl 16:30


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