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Open Simulator Community Conference: VR in Higher Ed

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A 10 year history of Dr. O'Connor, and some of her students, journey with immersive virtual reality in higher education.

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Open Simulator Community Conference: VR in Higher Ed

  1. 1. CHALLENGING GOLIATH: Bringing Virtual Reality into Higher Education Creating courses and community within academia Eileen.oconnor@esc.edu Nicola.Allain@esc.edu Al Ritondo, Salie Davis & Cheryl Moore Avatars invade the hallowed halls Creative Commons licensed basic VR building, geared around Kitely & Firestorm viewer - https://sites.google.com/view/vrmarian/home
  2. 2. Topics and areas covered • Timeline for the instructors and Empire State College SUNY • Initial efforts with Second Life • Continued integration by instructors; the bumps along the road to wider implementation • Meetings and courses • Student work — examples provided • Steps towards greater usage – Immersive Residency & Institute for New Paradigms
  3. 3. Value of Immersive VR to higher education — particularly in online courses and programs • Overcomes isolation; creates a sense of community • Creates a sense of space and presence • Encourages experimentation and shared development • Allows modeling of best practices • Encourages innovation and creativity with new immersive medias • CHALLENGES – downloading; learning curve (but younger students coming); uninformed academic community; scarcity of instructional-design support  thus becomes individual faculty / program effort
  4. 4. Building began in the mid 2000’s
  5. 5. SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs East Campus Alumni House @28 Union Ave. SUNY Empire State College Alumni House in Second Life Initial Second Life (SL) funding for Dr. Allain lead to the re-creation of a campus building and the premise for the “Future of Being Human” course
  6. 6. The Future of Being Human
  7. 7. FOBH Second Life Activity • Step 1: Experience transformation. • Step 2: Transport to various worlds. • Step 3: Explore future, past and imagined worlds in this form, using scientific methodology within a framework of biological advances, artificial life, and emerging technologies • Step 4: Write a 500-word report based on your experiences using a scientific approach.
  8. 8. Other buildings on the SL virtual campus were inspired by nearby historical locations in Saratoga, NY
  9. 9. Initial foray with Second Life by O’Connor — 2007 Support from Empire State College: — training on basic artifact creation — support during meetings — some artistic island developments — small grants for private islands with K12 -> pilot study & publication (O’Connor’s interest)
  10. 10. Bringing to other faculty and instructional designers • Grassroots effort to bring to other faculty and instructional designers: • Some participation, however, no ongoing support from ESC • O'Connor and Allain continued to work in their own SL environments; as did several other faculty • Faculty effort to maintain islands once funding ceased and islands became more expensive • Move to open source, Kitely, 2012
  11. 11. Moving to open source — a platform where students could work as well • Explored several different vendors — Kitely proved to be reliable and cost-effective • Moved course meetings into this space and developed a courses where students developed their own open- simulator environments • Created a complete set of start up developer materials https://sites.google.com/view/vrmarian/home
  12. 12. Continued promoting within the SUNY system — "soft" promotion within the ESC graduate school • Interest seems active within SUNY Online, however: • Not sufficient time for instructors to do all the professional development needed to bring in colleagues • Instructional designers not always supportive— too much overhead • Islands were perceived as expensive • Competition from other e-communication tools • Engaged other faculty in research and development however: • Some concerns surfaced; tenure and promotion • Innovative technologies can be considered disruptive and threatening
  13. 13. Students move beyond the course – using instructor- developed online tutorials (Creative Commons) A social-worker, to the left, discusses his VR social work environment at an international conference Other students join in peer- reviewed publication efforts Image owned by and shared by Wales Brown
  14. 14. VR - immersive 2d/3d Setting for social worker professional development; many venues on these islands – this section replicates a theory- foundation institute Parent Education Network in Kitely Islands may change
  15. 15. Immersive 2d/3d – VR can foster immersion and culture ● Experiences for learners from many countries that are becoming acclimated to the USA ● ESOL EFL in Kitely Islands may change
  16. 16. VR - immersive 2d/3d Historic Japanese setting, for K12 social studies instruction – 2016FA1 in Kitely Islands may change
  17. 17. VR - immersive 2d/3d Innovative design from graphic artist – immersive creative instructional experience for his students Eugenio Trainer in Kitely Islands may change
  18. 18. Research & publication on VR applications, here is a study of community &collegiality; third meeting: sandbox-level shared building Oh my goodness! It looks like your group had so much fun.You definitely let your creative juices flow! I'm jealous, I generally stayed within realistic limitations. I feel like I totally missed the fun of being in a VIRTUAL environment! Good job! – quote from discussion board, after the session
  19. 19. Students Speak for Themselves Al Ritondo – Video Production World Salie Davis – Multiverse Masters Cheryl Moore – Pix-elated
  20. 20. Outdoor Lighting Corral
  21. 21. Indoor Lighting Three-Point Lighting
  22. 22. Amphitheater
  23. 23. Categories on the survey Reviewer 1 Reviewer 2 Reviewer 3 Reviewer 4 Registration easy Strongly agree Strongly Agree Agree Agree Navigation primer clear Strongly agree Strongly Agree Agree Agree Welcome video helpful Strongly agree Strongly Agree Agree Agree Three-point lighting explained well Strongly agree Strongly Agree Indifferent Agree TV studio good for camera switching Disagree Strongly Agree Indifferent Indifferent Reflector & scrim explained well Agree Strongly Agree Agree Indifferent Good instruction on boom balancing Agree Agree Agree Agree Good instruction on dolly movement & camera Disagree Agree Agree Disagree Video production tutorials helpful Strongly agree Strongly Agree Indifferent Agree Discussion topics were stimulating Indifferent Indifferent Agree Indifferent Felt like hands-on Agree Agree Indifferent Indifferent Enough info to do Snapshot assignments Strongly agree Strongly Agree Agree Agree Enough time to complete assignments Strongly agree Strongly Agree Indifferent Strongly Agree I would recommend to others for learning video Strongly agree Strongly Agree Agree Indifferent
  24. 24. I am an Avatar Not a freak.
  25. 25. I am here to teach
  26. 26. I am here to Learn
  27. 27. • As students, educators, and professionals we must support each other as we teach and learn together.
  28. 28. Real-World Practice for Financial Education
  29. 29. How to Combat Financial Fragility?  Self-efficacy – a person’s belief in their ability to affect a desired outcome through their own behavior  Build capacity with information, tools, and practice  Inspire behavior change
  30. 30. Budget Exercise Task List • Groceries • Gift for a Friend • Lunch • Buy a Need • Buy a Want • Pay Credit Card • Savings
  31. 31. Educational Approach  Self-directed  Applied Learning  Problem Solving  Gamification of Personal Financial Management Detailed Presentation Sunday 5:30 PM Pacific Pilot Study: Immersive Financial Education for Building Positive Money Habits
  32. 32. Moving forward with faculty / program efforts • New forms of meetings – a virtual “residency” model under evaluation – substitution for a course activity? Substitution for a physical weekend experience? • Pilot study • Ongoing / expanding program efforts • Within courses; across course • Working on developing a student community through VR • Developing a think-tank among alums, students, other interested parties
  33. 33. Immersive Residency – October 13, 2018 • 9:00 AM - tech prep / Dean / faculty & alum intros • 9:30 - 10:30 AM: The Virtual to Augmented Reality Continuum - Eileen O'Connor, Ph.D. • Break; move to Empire Learning Design in Kitely; you will be given directions • 11 - 12:00: VR World building - Nicola Allain, Ph.D. • Break • 1 - 1:30 PM: Arts & Media in Virtual Worlds - Nicola Allain • 1:30 - 2:00 PM: STEM group activity - Eileen O'Connor • 2:00 - 3:00 PM: Game Design and Unity Game Engine - Mark Lewis, MA
  34. 34. Conducting an Immersive Residency, with the Dean, students across courses and programs, and alumni Eight years prior to this event, a previous Dean had come and spoken to students as well
  35. 35. What things were new or different to you about having a conference in a virtual reality setting? What content was particularly interesting? How can this type of experience be improved in the future? No physical boundary restrictions. People can come together from all over. AR As the technology improves, I believe it will have a natural progression. Like any conference, just sit and listen. World building. Woah that sounds so cool. Can’t wait to try. By being less glitchy but that’s internet based or a lot of people on the island so I understand that but I felt like i was glitching around at one point which was weird It really did make a difference to have a space in which to interact with people and look around. It was much more engaging than other virtual meeting options like a webinar. It took me a little while to get the hang of it but I felt comfortable very quickly. Dr. Allain's discussions about virtual world building and the tour she provided of her beautiful island. I could have used a basic orientation, either at the beginning or prior to the meeting. Just some basics about how to edit my avatar and basic functionality. I would also be interested in a brief overview about how Kitely is being used by educators. The experience is rewarding. Leaps and bounds ahead of a typical webinar setting or conference call. Sense of community. Meeting faculty, current classmates and having inputs from others who have completed the program in the past offers incredible value. I really enjoyed my time today, we touched on a lot of different relevant concepts and I walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation for the work and efforts our faculty put forth. I liked the pace of today's events. I enjoyed the balance of a lecture about VR and AR from Dr. O'Connor and how VR is helping students and faculty collaborate. I enjoyed the walking tour as Dr. Allain explained the intricacies of VR building and re-purposing of objects. Dr. Lewis demystified game design concepts and I look forward to taking his class in the future. I am very new to immersive environments and I really enjoyed the experience. Perhaps we could add a few a few more minutes to STEAM group activity . I know that in our group we sort of got caught up in the activity and had to rush back to next lecture. Thank you! Having a larger group in a virtual world interacting I liked the walking tour and sharing of information in chat. Have two speakers on each subject, one to talk and present and one to answer chat and post resources. Remember to be mindful on walking tours, They are fun but if people get behind we lose the ability to hear the speaker if they are ahead of us. Learning that the Saratoga campus is being re-created in virtual. The design of Professor allain's islands! More formal promotion - Schedule of events.
  36. 36. Immersive Residency (anonymous survey results) – how VR different from regular conference? • No physical boundary restrictions. People can come together from all over. • Like any conference, just sit and listen. • It really did make a difference to have a space in which to interact with people and look around. It was much more engaging than other virtual meeting options like a webinar. It took me a little while to get the hang of it but I felt comfortable very quickly. • The experience is rewarding. Leaps and bounds ahead of a typical webinar setting or conference call. • Having a larger group in a virtual world interacting • Learning that the Saratoga campus is being re-created in virtual.
  37. 37. Immersive Residency Improvements – What was interesting? • AR • World building. Woah that sounds so cool. Can’t wait to try. • Dr. Allain's discussions about virtual world building and the tour she provided of her beautiful island. • Sense of community. Meeting faculty, current classmates and having inputs from others who have completed the program in the past offers incredible value. I really enjoyed my time today, we touched on a lot of different relevant concepts and I walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation for the work and efforts our faculty put forth. I liked the pace of today's events. I enjoyed the balance of a lecture about VR and AR from Dr. O'Connor and how VR is helping students and faculty collaborate. I enjoyed the walking tour as Dr. Allain explained the intricacies of VR building and re-purposing of objects. Dr. Lewis demystified game design concepts and I look forward to taking his class in the future. • I liked the walking tour and sharing of information in chat. • The design of Professor allain's islands!
  38. 38. Immersive Residency Improvements – How can we grow? • As the technology improves, I believe it will have a natural progression. • By being less glitchy but that’s internet based or a lot of people on the island so I understand that but I felt like i was glitching around at one point which was weird • I could have used a basic orientation, either at the beginning or prior to the meeting. Just some basics about how to edit my avatar and basic functionality. I would also be interested in a brief overview about how Kitely is being used by educators. • I am very new to immersive environments and I really enjoyed the experience. Perhaps we could add a few a few more minutes to STEAM group activity . I know that in our group we sort of got caught up in the activity and had to rush back to next lecture. Thank you! • Have two speakers on each subject, one to talk and present and one to answer chat and post resources. Remember to be mindful on walking tours, They are fun but if people get behind we lose the ability to hear the speaker if they are ahead of us. • More formal promotion - Schedule of events.
  39. 39. Ongoing uses – posters & student presentations Continued use in MALET courses & ongoing student-island development
  40. 40. Instituting a think-tank to grow and preserve progressive technology- threaded education ideas
  41. 41. PLAN - Executive; logistics - Scheduling; activities - Advertising; announcing DO - More interactive meetings - Events – island visits / hops – by others - Activities / mini courses - White papers - Others? THINK - Research / pubs - Yours / mine
  42. 42. Ready Player One? Integrating real and virtual; past & present – AR / VR intersection; open source for prototyping and budget constrained applications
  43. 43. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT? • AR, AI, better use of google platform for collaborations • Developing images from 360 camera • Photos and portfolios • Adobe Products and certifications, AR from Apple ARKit, WebDesign for students (coding) • Web-worlds • AR project sounds great, how can AR be utilized for corporate training, mobile app development • I might be interested in having people try out a game concept that I've been working on, if I have a prototype. • 360 Cameras for Motion Capture • Availability of Interactive objects for in-world visitors/trainees and tracker devices and other ways to measure visitor movement and activities in Kitely in particular - how to personalize/script them for each world/activity • Unity, Blender, shared project • Opensource options, change management (how to get buy in when introducing new technologies) Unity Game engine, up and coming... walk in web pages and other new technologies, networking technologies old and new. Educational technology tools, the simple, the new and the best. Business technology tools, the simple the new and the best. From survey of INP pilot participants – intersecting interests
  44. 44. Interest in INP for more study: Survey - 12 responses
  45. 45. CHALLENGING GOLIATH: Next Steps for Open Source VR • The surging interest through augmented reality is creating interest in virtual reality as well – seeking more cost effective, available platforms for interactions and prototypes • Ongoing / sustained professional development in education venues for VR development; gaining instructional developers in these areas • A good quality web-based interface could be most helpful • 3-D with headsets would be nice but not essential now • Getting large-scale institutions on board with predesigned islands could help the efforts at integration • Studying the new types of interactions – and across “realities” too; developing a conceptual framework for immersion
  46. 46. So . . . what are we creating for their future?

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