We are proud to announce that the Immersive Virtual Reality (iVR): The Printing Press of the 21st Century and How Learning About Place and Space Will Never be the Same project has received seed funding through the Center for Online Innovation in Learning’s Research Initiation Grant Program.
Immersive virtual reality (iVR) technologies are changing the way people communicate information about place and space, comparable to the invention of the printing press. The availability of affordable head mounted displays (e.g., $2.50 for a Google Cardboard) and a booming market for content-creation tools such as 360-degree cameras and environmental sensors such as LiDAR create vast opportunities for field experiences that could not have been part of online learning environments before. iVR offers students content which allows them to personally experience remote locations in both space and time or even unreachable places (e.g., inside of a volcano). To demonstrate the ubiquitous education potential of iVR, this proposal will develop and evaluate course modules for three classes in Geography, Geosciences, and Architecture. Leveraging current developments and resources, we will implement iVR workflows using 360-videos, procedural modeling, photoreconstruction, and LiDAR to demonstrate that VR promises given 20 years ago are now a reality. We will deliver protocols for incorporating iVR into online, hybrid, and residential courses; develop a mobile phone app for accessing iVR content flexibly and at a large scale, and demonstrate strategies for internationalizing residential and online curricula using iVR.
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Gosnell Senior Faculty Scholar
Department of Geography
204 Walker Building
University Park, PA 16802