Page 38 - Campus Technology, May/June 2020
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of education around the world) provides a unique opportunity to further explore the use of XR to provide engaging distance learning — particularly for hands-on activities, such as labs.”
Frazee also summarized just a few of the more recent research initiatives in VITaL’s agenda. “We received three mini-grants in partnership with faculty (astronomy, mechanical engineering, and biology), and just submitted a large $1,000,000 grant proposal to the USDA to expand the VITaL
Project lead James Frazee
initiative to SDSU Imperial Valley, located 100 miles east of our main campus,” he noted. “Additionally, we submitted a ‘Big Ideas’ proposal to develop empathy-building training for inclusive hiring practices here at SDSU.”
SDSU has measured the interest and demand for immersive technologies in education through several outreach events and data collection instruments. At SDSU, demand for the VITaL Learning Research Studio (LRS) far exceeds capacity. Additionally, data from LRS post- occupancy surveys show that students and faculty are enthusiastic about using this new technology. In response, the California State University Chancellor’s Office is leveraging SDSU’s VITaL initiative to build an AR/VR/AI community with a focus on student success.
VITaL’s immersive learning space
“The enthusiasm from across SDSU — students (current and future), faculty, staff and adminis- tration — around our VITaL initiative has resulted in an increased motivation to learn, teach and provide support across campus,” stated Frazee.
This VITaL project has earned high praise among education professionals for its explorations of deeper learning and higher-order thinking. It was selected for recognition in the 2019 Educause Horizon project, among others. VITaL has the unique quality of being informed by a solid foundation of pedagogical research while opening up to imaginative applications and innovation.
Meg Lloyd is a freelance writer based in Northern California.

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