About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3430-3437
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1767

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

A FOUR-YEAR CASE STUDY ON INTEGRATING VIRTUAL REALITY INTO DIVERSE CAMPUS CURRICULA

A. Grace, F. Klassner

Villanova University (UNITED STATES)
Before head-mounted displays (HMDs) such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vibe popularized virtual reality for entertainment, virtual reality had also been emerging as a tool of research purposes in both research institutions and industry in the form of CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) displays. CAVE technology was first developed in 1992. A CAVE is a space in which a viewer can be physically present and also feel immersed in a virtual scene. A traditional 4-sided CAVE has imagery projected onto four walls: a center wall, left wall, right wall, and a floor, along with a head tracking system to render the scene at the correct perspective for the viewer. Many fields, including medicine, aerospace, manufacturing, architectural design, among others have been using virtual reality CAVEs as a way to intuitively experience an imagined space for the purposes of enhanced visualization and simulation. In the past, use of such CAVE displays tended to be limited to researchers.

Recognizing the potential of virtual reality CAVEs as a classroom environment in addition to a research environment, the Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology (CEET) at our University applied for and received a development grant from the National Science Foundation to use a CAVE for both educational and research purposes. The CAVE facility was installed in 2014. Our CAVE was designed to be 5.5m wide, 3m deep, and 2.2m tall in order to accommodate groups of up to 20 participants at a time. It was installed in the campus library, in the center of campus in order to be an accessible resource for the entire campus, including faculty and students from all disciplines.

This report provides a 4-year retrospective on the strategies that we employed in integrated use of virtual reality in a wide variety of majors and disciplines on campus. We discuss the experience of evangelizing the technology by providing numerous demonstrations of the technology to students (including prospective students and family), faculty, administrators, and other guests such as a conference attendees or visiting high schools and summer camps.

We also discuss the fruits of the outreach efforts, from graduate student research in real-time 360-degree video streaming systems to faculty lectures in a virtual Sistine Chapel. We describe trends that we observed, such as faculty starting with virtual reality pilot projects, receiving positive feedback from students, and then creating further projects. Some faculty have pursued their own independently funded projects for developing educational content. Certain stand-out projects have also led to collaboration with outside institutions and industry partners, and even positive attention from both local and national media. We discuss the experience of incentivizing student involvement with student competitions (with prize money) as well.

During our four years of experience with the CAVE, we have observed a steady increase in the number of courses and variety of disciplines using virtual reality technology in classrooms. Even though our focus has been in CAVE technology, we have developed strategies for using both HMD and CAVE technology as complementary tools for education.
@InProceedings{GRACE2018AFO,
author = {Grace, A. and Klassner, F.},
title = {A FOUR-YEAR CASE STUDY ON INTEGRATING VIRTUAL REALITY INTO DIVERSE CAMPUS CURRICULA},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1767},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1767},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3430-3437}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Grace AU - F. Klassner
TI - A FOUR-YEAR CASE STUDY ON INTEGRATING VIRTUAL REALITY INTO DIVERSE CAMPUS CURRICULA
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1767
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 3430
EP - 3437
ER -
A. Grace, F. Klassner (2018) A FOUR-YEAR CASE STUDY ON INTEGRATING VIRTUAL REALITY INTO DIVERSE CAMPUS CURRICULA, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 3430-3437.
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