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Using AR and VR in Higher Education


On Monday 21st June, DCAD led the first international meeting of a network for University staff interested in using VR and AR in teaching and learning. The event generated significant interest within the sector with several hundred colleagues getting in touch to join the network. The event include a range of invite speakers from across the sector, a poster session (hosted on the virtual environment and tours if AltspaceVR and Engage organise by staff experienced in using these platforms to teach.

Following a welcome by Prof. Sam Nolan introducing the work of the Education Lab at Durham Centre for Academic DevelopmentRachel Bass from Lakes College shared her work as VR Developer and Technology creating resources for teaching and learning. Recordings of Sam and Rachel’s talks are available at this link

Following a poster session (with a number of contributions) the morning session conclusion with a discussion session where staff shared the challenges and benefits of using these technologies. Access to the posters is available here.

In the afternoon session, Dr Mark Childs (Durham) shared how teaching in virtual worlds has evolved from his PhD work in Second Life several years ago, to the new world introduced by realistic and affordable headset based virtual worlds. Dr Marco Gilardi (University of West of Scotland) shared his experiences teaching in AltspaceVR and addressed issues of accessibility technology for learning online and digital poverty. Recordings of Mark and Marco’s talks can be accessed at this link.

We concluded the day with optional sessions where Mark and Marco led tours of the Engage and AltspaceVR platforms. 

The participants were keen to carry on the discussion and future events and activities are currently being planned.