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Session Overview
#WkshpPM3: Immersive Pedagogy Workshop
Tuesday, 23/Jul/2019:
1:00pm - 5:00pm

Location: Duquesne University, Gumberg Library, Room 408
600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282

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Immersive Pedagogy Workshop: How to Use VR for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities Classroom

Emma Ruth Slayton1, Jessica Linker2, Alex Wermer-Colan3, Chris Young4

1Carnegie Mellon University, United States of America; 2Bryn Mawr College, United States of America; 3Temple University, United States of America; 4University of Toronto, Canada

3D and VR technologies are becoming increasingly popular tools for teaching and learning in academia. The applications of these technologies are broad: they have been used to advance humanistic inquiry through immersive visualizations of spaces, artifacts, and data. To respond to growing interest in using these technologies in higher education, this workshop will guide participants through developing and using pedagogical material addressing critical and practical needs for teaching with 3D and VR in higher education.

The workshop presenters comprise a CLIR postdoctoral fellow inquiry group; in our various capacities at libraries and humanities centres across North America, we each regularly collaborate with students, librarians, and faculty to expand support for and use of emerging technologies for digital scholarship. We have each observed, and hope to resolve, a number of pedagogical challenges posed by training researchers and students to use 3D/VR as an effective tool, particularly for humanistic inquiry. Although some institutions offer robust technical support, what is lacking at the moment is integrated critical engagement of how these technologies can and do leverage data and analysis of recurrent and emergent humanities topics.

To address challenges in adapting immersive technology for pedagogical purposes, the workshop presenters received grant-funding from CLIR and the Mellon Foundation to host a workshop series at Carnegie Mellon University in June 2019, entitled “Immersive Pedagogy: A Symposium on Humanities Teaching and Learning with 3D, Augmented and Virtual Reality.” Our symposium will bring together librarians, educational technologists, and faculty to generate accessible, scaffolded pedagogical material that integrates scholarly inquiry with technical training. Teaching materials developed at this conference, which prioritize projects related to US Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, will showcase how 3D and VR technologies and data curation practices intersect with methodologies derived from studies of cultural heritage, minority archives, race and ethnicity, women of color feminist theory, community outreach, public humanities, and accessibility. To further develop and disseminate the lessons learned during our “Immersive Pedagogy Symposium,” participants of this workshop will contribute to explorations at ACH on emerging technology for digital pedagogy and scholarship by sharing the outcomes of this symposium, including the pedagogical material created.

The aim of our workshop will be to: 1.) discuss the materials created during the course of the conference, and the process by which they were developed, 2.) provide attendees with guidelines for best practices when using these technologies, 3.) disseminate information about software, tools, and languages available to incubate 3D/VR projects, and 4.) promote sustained, critical analysis of humanistic uses of 3D/VR technology in the participants’ digital scholarship initiatives. Participants will have the opportunity to work with experts to generate or assess their own plans to integrate immersive technology on their campuses. Specific topics may include: expanding critical understanding of the underpinnings and consequences of using these techniques for research or education, locating relevant immersive media for classes and disciplines, generating syllabi that enhances knowledge of 3D and VR tools, and developing lesson plans, designed to supplement and contextualize the immersive experiences.

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