Dr. Abhishek Tripathi, associate professor of accounting and information systems, and adjunct professor David Saul were awarded the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s mini grant, “Demonstration of Immersive Learning Using Virtual Reality.”
The funding will allow for a demonstration of immersive learning using a virtual reality (VR) platform. The method to be demonstrated sometime in February 2023 was developed for Insead University to enhance students’ experiences with case studies. “This caught my attention since we do Harvard case studies in my IST 330 class and I am always interested in making that aspect of the class as impactful as possible,” said Saul. “In fact, with the help of 6 volunteer students this semester, we used Meta Workgroup software as part of a prototype to show how VR might be incorporated into the curriculum. To that end, the grant will allow us to take a major step forward.
The grant will fund the configuration of content and technical support along with five VR headsets.
In Saul’s IST 330 class, students created avatars, customized a virtual conference room, and presented their analyses of Harvard case studies in the metaverse. Using the technology, they added a hybrid feature that allowed students to access physical laptops that housed PowerPoint presentations from the virtual environment. “They clearly enjoyed using the new platform and found it to be engaging. Above and beyond what we’ve accomplished, the Insead approach delivers students into a case, such as a factory floor, and has them interacting with characters in the case,” said Saul. “The demo will help us to better understand what is possible with VR and how it may be tailored to fit the needs at TCNJ.”