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VR Overview and Challenges

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Considers progress made and challenges experienced by O'Connor in bring virtual reality forward in higher education.

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VR Overview and Challenges

  1. 1. Bringing Virtual Reality into Higher Education – the potential, and the challenges Creating courses and community within academia at the State University of NY (SUNY) Empire State College (ESC) Eileen.oconnor@esc.edu Me: chemist > IBM > education Creative Commons licensed basic VR building, geared around Kitely & Firestorm viewer - https://sites.google.com/view/vrmarian/home Eileen O’Connor, Ph.D. curriculum vitae
  2. 2. Topics and areas covered • College’s mission, purpose and organization • History of involvement • Quick visual overview of selected islands / projects • Triumphs / challenges • Using our venues / Partnerships ideas in VR? • Distance workshop – SUNY Challenge – May 28, 2019; 2 – 5PM ET/ 11-2 Pacific; meet before then too???
  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 & presence – instructor’s personal space • 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); un-informed academic community; scarcity of instructional-design support  thus becomes individual faculty / program effort
  4. 4. Open Source Immersive VR It works • Low cost – Creative Commons Must be situated • Needs story-line, curriculum or purpose Support would help • Students develop too perhaps
  5. 5. My experiences Collabora tion space Shared “field trips” Poster session & votes STEP program – K12 Speakers / presentation Joint video viewing But don’t assume your idea with be “theirs” – create meaning in your own space; younger students can think video game
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. Basic requirements for developing a productive virtual experience • Purchased / made / borrowed – open source tooPlace • Download viewers – basic skills Access by students / visitors • What they do – motivation & integration Event / activity / simulation • Did it support your goals? Assessment / evaluation
  8. 8. Securing a VR space Create / acquire Second Life Open Sim Visit SUNY Other island Borrow Eileen.oconnor@esc.edu
  9. 9. My Current Efforts – pros and expansion “challenges” PROS EXPANSION CHALLENGES / NEEDS Ongoing development since 2006; interaction platform in course / course itself Difficult to get faculty buy-in in other content areas; much marketing & Prof. Dev. Great platform for community building among students at a distance Resistance from instructional Designers – tech support goes to the more tech- needy; innovator lament Almost half the students have made their own islands; research needed on who chooses & why Difficult to get tech support  my own Creative Commons tutorials (wiki?) Open source available + inexpensive server rental too Need a narrative, story-line, motivation
  10. 10. My Current Efforts – pros and expansion “challenges” PROS EXPANSION CHALLENGES / NEEDS Research strongly supports community Downloading viewer – headset virtual coming when? Startup documentation available Curriculum needed / integrating into courses or stories; beware Become-a-developer courses run well Conceptual framework for immersive  new paradigm (Web 3?); INP – fledgling Prototyping / proof-of-concept for later simulation
  11. 11. My Current Challenges Needs for open source EXPANSION CHALLENGES / NEEDS - More avatars and outfits - More professional / too form fitting - New research models - New design models - Competition w/ games Cohesive / ongoing engagement - More artifacts w/ Creative Commons permissions - Data-bases for items made / inventory / tagging - Server space - Web interface coming available – low fidelity / limited
  12. 12. Faculty support needed “Protecting” the innovators – against negativity from colleagues / against being worn-out as their own tech support / against having their projects unfunded or not- supported Creating academic incentives / awards / growth-plan incorporating technologies – really examine the conserving culture that squashes innovation Embrace the digital natives who are becoming teachers From a 2014 presentation
  13. 13. Building began in the mid 2000’s
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. Other buildings on the SL virtual campus were inspired by nearby historical locations in Saratoga, NY
  16. 16. The Future of Being Human
  17. 17. Initial foray with Second Life by Dr. 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)
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. Created an Exhibit Area for Empire State College at the virtual conference – a space to create a community of practice and sharing.
  20. 20. VIDEO PRODUCTION WORLDVisitors will experience a professional TV Studio, learn about different production topics in the amphitheater, learn indoor and outdoor lighting techniques, have hands-on with camera jibs and dollies, test their new-found knowledge at different shooting locations, and enjoy the gift shop. A Virtual 3D Island Where Video Production Skills Are Learned and Practiced INDOOR LIGHTING WELCOME BOOTH TV STUDIO
  21. 21. Outdoor Lighting Corral
  22. 22. Indoor Lighting Three-Point Lighting
  23. 23. Amphitheater
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. ESOL/ELL Learning Site in Kitely CREATED AND PRESENTED BY IRENE T. CRUZ ELL / ESOL (English learners) support – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bk7kUlfOkI
  26. 26. Creating an immersive learning environment Initial Set-up in Kitely Choosing an island and it’s design plan Decisions, alterations, on the design plan for effective immersive learning.
  27. 27. Connecting the Design to the Learning Learning Styles considered in the Design This framework follows through with the use of learning by exploring, collaborating, being, building, championing, and expression. (Lim, KennethY.T., 2009) Collaboration of ideas within English Skill Sets. Design Principles applied to the rendering of thisVLE. Within this piloted framework, two of the principles that I focused on were; Contiguity Principle and the Redundancy Principle. (Clark R.C., Mayer, R.E. 2011). Contiguity Principle – evident in the graphics and text that are balanced for the learners to easily understand. The Redundancy Principle - repetitious use of learned information for compounded learning effect. Signage for easy transition Welcome Center with Documented How-To’s
  28. 28. Sculpture Island is a virtual reality island dedicated to exploring the interface between art in reality and art in virtual reality. It has outdoor park areas and interior gallery spaces to develop art in a simulated controlled environment.. There is also an opportunity to create landscaping.to further visualize how art will interact with architecture, landscaping and people as they use public and private spaces. Artistic renderings on Sculpture Island
  29. 29. Sculpture Island gives visitors the opportunity to view art in a 3-D space from different perspectives. People from all over the world can visit an art installation. Virtual reality would be useful in creating models of art installations, for feasibility studies of public art and proposals for public and private clients.
  30. 30. Later courses, students created their own island – more than STEM areas here http://www.slideshare.net/eoconnor/suny-cit-2015-immersive-virtual-environments-open-source
  31. 31. Create a STEM/cultural environment • Ie. Sub-Saharan African healthcare - https://sites.goo gle.com/site/ser vehealthcarestu dy/ • http://eileenoco nnor1.wix.com/s erve-healthcare
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. 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
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. VR - immersive 2d/3d Historic Japanese setting, for K12 social studies instruction – 2016FA1 in Kitely Islands may change
  38. 38. VR - immersive 2d/3d Innovative design from graphic artist – immersive creative instructional experience for his students https://youtu.be/QFG39xavoVo EugeneTrainer in Kitely Islands may change
  39. 39. Real-World Practice for Financial Education
  40. 40. 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
  41. 41. Budget Exercise Task List • Groceries • Gift for a Friend • Lunch • Buy a Need • Buy aWant • Pay Credit Card • Savings
  42. 42. 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
  43. 43. 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
  44. 44. 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 October 2019 residency is in the planning; more student involvement in development
  45. 45. 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
  46. 46. Ongoing uses – posters & student presentations Continued use in MALET courses & ongoing student-island development
  47. 47. 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.
  48. 48. 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!
  49. 49. 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.
  50. 50. Instituting a think-tank to grow and preserve progressive technology- threaded education ideas
  51. 51. 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
  52. 52. Ready Player One? Integrating real and virtual; past & present – AR / VR intersection; open source for prototyping and budget constrained applications
  53. 53. My Current Efforts – pros and expansion “challenges” PROS EXPANSION CHALLENGES / NEEDS Ongoing development since 2006; interaction platform in course / course itself Difficult to get faculty buy-in in other content areas; much marketing & Prof. Dev. Great platform for community building among students at a distance Resistance from instructional Designers – tech support goes to the more tech- needy; innovator lament Almost half the students have made their own islands; research needed on who chooses & why Difficult to get tech support  my own Creative Commons tutorials (wiki?) Open source available + inexpensive server rental too Need a narrative, story-line, motivation
  54. 54. My Current Efforts – pros and expansion “challenges” PROS EXPANSION CHALLENGES / NEEDS Research strongly supports community Downloading viewer – headset virtual coming when? Startup documentation available Curriculum needed / integrating into courses or stories; beware Become-a-developer courses run well Conceptual framework for immersive  new paradigm (Web 3?); INP – fledgling Prototyping / proof-of-concept for later simulation
  55. 55. My Current Challenges Needs for open source EXPANSION CHALLENGES / NEEDS - More avatars and outfits - More professional / too form fitting - New research models - New design models - Competition w/ games Cohesive / ongoing engagement - More artifacts w/ Creative Commons permissions - Data-bases for items made / inventory / tagging - Server space - Web interface coming available – low fidelity / limited
  56. 56. 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

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