Beginner’s Guide to Low-cost, High-impact Immersive Strategies in Higher Ed

Concurrent Session 3

Add to My Schedule

Brief Abstract

Virtual reality offers a promising new strategy for teaching and learning, engaging learners in a realistic and 360-degree environment. However, while the instructional possibilities are extraordinary, there have been two major challenges facing most classrooms; technology cost and instructional relevance. During this session, attendees will explore innovative VR assignments for online and in-person courses and discover how to create effective and engaging VR assignments on a public institution budget.

Presenters

Maikel Alendy is currently a senior instructional designer with FIU Online. With degrees from the University of Florida and Florida International University in the fields of neuroscience, cultural anthropology, healthcare, and business; his main research interests and publications are in cardiovascular molecular biology, aging, social media, anthropology, and online pedagogy. Within FIU’s honors college, Maikel teaches the fully-online course Digital Fairytale, merging social movements, disruptive technologies, and business trends with a dash of neuropsychology. He is also the instructor for the hybrid course Power of Play, in which students examine the importance of play throughout their lifetime and partner with Sweetwater Elementary to design games for K-5 students. Maikel currently serves as the online experience consultant for FIU’s Honors College and the CTO for a small digital consulting company based in Miami.

Extended Abstract

Virtual reality offers a promising new strategy for teaching and learning, engaging learners in a realistic and 360-degree environment. However, while the instructional possibilities are extraordinary, there have been two major challenges facing most classrooms; technology cost and instructional relevance. While virtual reality viewers are fairly low-cost and prolific, its corresponding editing software and cameras can be exceptionally expensive. This compounded with the complexity, novelty, and specific nature of virtual reality assignments make designing quality immersive learning activities challenging.  

This session will explore a faculty member and instructional designer’s path to successfully incorporate virtual reality (VR) in online courses and face-to-face labs at a public institution. We will share sample assignments and demonstrate how immersive assignments have led to higher student satisfaction, meaningful learning gains, and innovative student engagement in both online and face to face courses.

You will learn what you need to get started with collecting resources, utilizing free and open source technologies, and low-cost VR alternatives. You will be presented with common missteps and solutions when incorporating VR for budget-friendly, interactive experiences for various subject matters. At the end of the session, you will have useful guidelines on designing interactive 360-degree videos, as well as a proven method to integrate these immersive experiences in your online and hybrid courses.

In this session, participants will discover:

  • Which immersive experiences are most likely to create sticky learning

  • The potential of interactive 360-degree videos and Google Cardboard for effective instruction

  • How to locate and curate affordable immersive tools and software

  • Which tools and software you can use to design interactive 360-degree videos