Immersive learning: Applications of virtual reality for undergraduate education

Virtual reality technology has applications across many academic disciplines and has the potential to contribute to student centered, experiential learning opportunities. Some academic libraries have begun to offer access to this technology as part of their mission to provide broad access to information and learning resources. The virtual reality studio in the Taylor Family Digital Library, the central library at the University of Calgary, was introduced in the summer of 2016, five years after the building first opened. Since the launch of the virtual reality studio, it has experienced a diverse range of uses encompassing teaching, learning, and research across many disciplines. Due to its success, VR offerings have been expanded to include a semi-mobile VR cart, a VR development room, and loanable VR equipment. This article will describe the configuration, access policies, and outreach activities around the library’s VR services and spaces, and discuss in more detail how they have been used in undergraduate classes including kinesiology, dance, literatures, and art history.
academic libraries, experiential learning, undergraduate education, virtual reality