We hosted our first Extended Reality Common Interest Group meeting October 21st, a re-launch of an effort that’s been on hiatus for several years. But while a systemwide community interested in augmented and virtual reality has not been as active, faculty and staff across the system have been teaching and researching using XR.
For the first XR CIG meeting of the year, co-chairs Dr. Sean Hauze and Dr. Mihaela Popescu facilitated a discussion on the goals of the group and the specific areas of opportunity and challenges that the group could collectively work on to address. The group identified the following topics as focus areas for the CIG.
- Access & Equity – How do we address accessibility issues, affordability issues, and physical challenges (e.g. motion sickness)? Can we identify common standards and policies for accessibility?
- Evaluation & Research – How do you measure learning in XR spaces? How do we evaluate the effectiveness of VR efforts? What are considerations with respect to accreditation and IRB approval?
- Resources & Funding – What are best practices when it comes to staffing, hardware, software, infrastructure needs (computing and network power), physical spaces, and training & on-boarding? What might a lending system or OER look like when it comes to XR?
- Faculty Professional Development – What are best practices when it comes to teaching and learning using XR? How can we be mindful of accessibility issues, safety issues, and privacy issues while also leveraging emerging technologies and their pedagogical possibilities? Is XR a fit for all disciplines? What do we have to consider beyond the classroom – advising, outreach, engagement, choice (opt-in vs. opt-out), assessment?
- Ethical Issues – How do we teach students to navigate virtual spaces, consider identity and treatment of others, and prioritize student and instructor privacy?
- Scaling – how do we scale up projects? How do we mitigate re-inventing the wheel every time in research, teaching, & learning? Could there be templates? A common platform? Shared resources/repository?
These topics will inform subsequent meetings, webinars, and other efforts that the group will plan for the remainder of the year.