Exploring virtual reality in and out of the classroom

Today’s virtual reality technology has the potential to enhance the student learning experience in a multitude of ways. The Mohawk College research team wanted to find some of the best ways virtual reality and 360-degree camera technology could help media and entertainment students to create visual content, and to learn about other areas where the technology could be applied.

To do that, the research team experimented with using new visual technologies to produce three-dimensional, computer-generated environments through virtual reality and explored 360-degree camera technology to learn about techniques for enhancing learning. The team also reviewed editing software for 360 cameras and virtual reality.

The project provided an opportunity to try cutting-edge tools, to connect and generate new partnerships in the 360 /VR industry and also let students extend beyond traditional content creation to offer innovative storytelling and presentation opportunities to clients. Sectors interested in the potential of virtual reality and what Mohawk College students are learning include the health sciences, music, home design, real estate and gaming — which may open up the potential of field placements and internships for students.

Three students were assigned to work on the project for two to three hours a week for 21 weeks, experimenting with the technology, troubleshooting and researching new technologies and applications.

The research also provided a better understanding of what to buy — although members of the research team started by looking at high-end camera equipment, they decided consumer products, capable of providing the same learning fundamentals, would be the best route to follow.

Possibly the greatest benefit from the research came from connecting with people already using the technology and with people who work in media and entertainment, who helped further explore the uses of 360 and virtual technology — the team learned from them, and partners became aware that Mohawk College’s media and entertainment programs are adopting and immersing students in the latest innovations.

Funded by: Mohawk College Applied Research and Innovation in Education Fund (ARIE)

About Mohawk College

Mohawk College educates and serves 30,000 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students at three campuses in Hamilton, Ontario. More than 1,200 international students from over 70... Learn more