The Immersive Media & Learning Lab at Cal State San Bernardino received the silver award in the category Innovation in Teaching, Learning and/or Accessibility at the Cal State 2019 Tech Conference on July 30 in San Diego.
The Cal State Tech Awards recognize excellence and outstanding contributions by California State University campuses, project teams and individuals across several areas. The Innovation in Teaching, Learning and/or Accessibility category recognizes integration of new technology in traditional classroom, hybrid, online or technology-assisted courses.
“We continually strive to provide our students with unique and innovative learning experiences in our lab – experiences they can use in and outside of the classroom,” said Samuel Sudhakar, vice president and chief information officer of Information Technologies Services. “We are honored to have our Immersive Media & Learning Lab recognized in this category.”
The CSUSB Immersive Media & Learning Lab, which is housed in the Academic Technologies & Innovation (ATI) department in Information Technologies Services, is a program that offers students the opportunity to work in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment with faculty and staff to produce virtual reality (VR) simulations for use in the classroom. Its mission is to explore the technological affordances, design and implementation principles, and impact of immersive media for learning.
In addition to producing content, the lab also coordinates the production of VR assets across different courses taught by affiliated faculty in various departments and manages the workflow that leads to the inclusion of those assets into the VR simulation under production.
According to the nomination letter, “this is a unique organizational concept that enables students in various classes to get exposure to cutting-edge skills and knowledge, while also engaging in project-based learning.”
The lab was co-founded by Kurt Collins, professor of art, and Mihaela Popescu, professor of communication studies and the faculty director of ATI at CSUSB. It is currently managed by Scott Vance, lecturer of music.
“The work performed in the Lab has a significant impact on student experience and learning. In addition to project-based learning, experiential learning, and the mastery of 21st-century skills—all HIPS practices effective in student learning—the simulations produced in the Lab are used by faculty in their courses and the impact on learning continuously assessed,” says the nomination letter. “Thus, the Lab also contributes to the accumulation of knowledge on impactful design of VR content on higher education. Additionally, thanks to the systematic interaction with vendors and community partners, the Lab provides the students with the social capital and connections needed to secure jobs.”
In addition to the Innovation in Teaching, Learning and/or Accessibility award, Javier Torner, director for Information Security & Emerging Technologies at CSUSB, will be specially recognized as an outstanding contributor in technology at the conference.
To learn more about ATI and the lab, visit the Academic Technologies & Innovation website.
Visit the Cal State Tech Conference website to learn more about the awards and event.