The University of South Carolina, like many universities, is taking advantage of technology to experiment with virtual reality in teaching. The Office of Distributed Learning (ODL) delivered presentations on using both 360° video and virtual reality at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Virtual Environments Bootcamp held May 28-31, 2019.
Many education technology experts predict an increase in activity in these areas as the technology for both 360° video and virtual reality advances and becomes more affordable. Proponents believe the technologies may transform learning and student experiences by altering how we teach, learn, engage with each other, and experience the world. At the CTE VE Bootcamp, participants received hands-on training from faculty and staff colleagues on 360° video, augmented reality, and virtual reality, and in the process learned about pedagogical best practices for teaching using these technologies. Staff from ODL provided sessions on editing a 360° video and creating immersive experiences in an online course using the ENGAGE platform that allows educators to host virtual reality meetings, classes, and presentations with people from all over the world.
During the ENGAGE session, Rob Grookett, ODL’s Marketing, Media and Technology Manger, was joined by a special guest virtually, Chris Madsen, Business Developer for Immersive VR Education; together, the two presented a live demonstration of the platform and how it may be used in higher education courses. Both Rob and Chris tweeted about the experience (see https://twitter.com/deep_rifter/status/1134158735595565056 and https://twitter.com/deep_rifter/status/1134167581907046400).
ODL and CTE continue to collaborate to assist faculty interested in creating engaging immersive teaching environments in online and blended courses using 360° video and virtual reality. CTE has 360° video cameras and VR headsets for loan to faculty, and ODL staff will help faculty select existing or create and edit new 360° video as well as develop immersive environments using the ENGAGE VR platform. Faculty interested in selecting/editing 360° video or using the ENGAGE tool may contact ODL at 803-777-7210 or email email@example.com to schedule a consultation; those interested in checking out cameras and VR equipment may contact CTE at 803-777-8322 or email CTE@sc.edu.
About the Office of Distributed Learning
The Office of Distributed Learning assists faculty and academic units with online course delivery, from providing guidance through the course approval process to assisting with technical production and course accessibility. We help instructors provide a rich learning experience that mirrors on-campus quality while ensuring that testing adheres to course and program requirements. Together, we deliver exceptional online courses to students regardless of distance, classroom availability, or time constraints. The ODL is located in a historic house at 1716 College Street with our studio suites at a separate building behind the house. If you would like to know more about how the Office can assist you in developing and delivering online or blended courses, contact us on 803-777-7210 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Center for Teaching Excellence
The Center for Teaching Excellence inspires excellence and innovation in teaching. The Center creates and provides programming, resources, and opportunities that foster innovation and effective pedagogical practices among all who teach at UofSC, including instructional design services, orientation and training for new faculty and graduate teaching assistants, and workshop sessions on pedagogy,