A Graduate School Residency in a Virtual Reality Setting
Abstract: Once thought to be solely the province of video gamers, Virtual Reality environments are now being mainstreamed into both corporate training and educational applications. VR has become highly accessible and can provide visually rich environments for interactive and productive group events for much lower expense and effort than required to hold a residency, conference or symposium in real life. Over the last 15 years web technology, virtual reality in particular, has progressed to the point where highly instructional and informative residencies, attended by geographically distant participants can gather and exchange ideas from the comfort of their own home or office. The SUNY Empire State College Master of Arts in Learning with Emerging Technology program; better known as MALET held a one-day immersive residency in virtual reality to introduce new students to the faculty, academic colleagues, and to present them with an overview of current programs and alumni projects past and present. The secondary purpose was to demonstrate the efficacy of hosting an engaging and informative synchronous group activity in an immersive cloud based virtual platform. The following report on the event, and conclusions derived from the post event debriefing, presents evidence for continuing exploration and development.
Presider: Nalline Baliram, Seattle Pacific University