Whereas traditional teaching environments encourage lively and engaged interaction and reward extrovert qualities, introverts, and others with symptoms that make social engagement difficult, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are often disadvantaged. This population is often more engaged in quieter, low-key learning environments and often does not speak up and answer questions in traditional lecture-style classes. These individuals are often passed over in school and later in their careers for not speaking up and are assumed to not be as competent as their gregarious and outgoing colleagues. With the rise of the metaverse and democratization of virtual reality (VR) technology, post-secondary education is especially poised to capitalize on the immersive learning environments social VR provides and prepare students for the future of work, where virtual collaboration will be key. This study seeks to reconsider the role of VR and the metaverse for introverts and those with ASD. The metaverse has the potential to continue the social and workplace changes already accelerated by the pandemic and open new avenues for communication and collaboration for a more inclusive audience and tomorrow.
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Hutson, James, "Social Virtual Reality: Neurodivergence and Inclusivity in the Metaverse" (2022). Faculty Scholarship. 423.