VR as Library Technology: Early Faculty and Student Feedback on Educational Use of Immersive Technology
In developing a Virtual Reality (VR) project, the library creates a democratic home for a teaching and lab space for a visiting Fulbright scholar to build energy and community around this new immersive technology. Following three academic quarters of VR teaching, workshops, community outreach, and awareness building, interviews of volunteer faculty and student participants provide valuable feedback on their reflection as to the potential of Virtual Reality experiences to scaffold and supplement student learning and their value of the positioning of such technology within the library as a central location. Faculty (N = 5) each provide unique lenses on the importance of the immersive technology within their areas of practice. In addition, two advanced students in the paired Communication Studies VR courses discussed their experiences. Advanced students explained after intensive use of VR software and final project development, the experience changed their thinking about education and future career opportunities. Additional pre-medicine students provided written reflective responses following a VR biology experience (N = 13). Future study is recommended to explore the library as a technology hub and further nuanced details of how immersive technology can expand and scaffold student learning outcomes across a variety of subject areas.
KeywordsVirtual Reality Libraries Learning Technology Virtual Experience
The authors would like to thank the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program (2017–18) for its support and contribution to the Bellevue College VR Fulbright project and the selection of Mr. James Riggall as the visiting scholar.
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