University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 047/2023 - 27 April 2023
100,000 euros for extended reality in teaching at the University of Bayreuth
The University of Bayreuth is on its way to becoming an "XR-CAMPUS": Virtual realities are to be integrated into teaching and studies. The Free State is supporting this with an additional 100,000 euros.
As part of the "XR-Campus" project, which will start on 1 June 2023, 3D, VR, AR and XR media will initially be used in ten courses "in order to use the opportunities of immersive learning through three-dimensional visualisation and to reflect on them together with students", as Paul Dölle from the Centre for Higher Education Teaching (ZHL) at the University of Bayreuth explains. Students and staff from the Department of Media Studies support the development phase.
"Here at the University of Bayreuth, we find good conditions because equipment and expertise from previous projects are already available," Dölle reports further and says: "After many years of experience with digital resources in teaching and several projects also on 3D, virtual (VR), augmented (AR) and extended reality (XR) in teaching, it is now time to bring these experiences and findings to the Bayreuth campus on a broad scale and to interweave XR with everyday teaching in as many subjects as possible." The virtual future should thus already be experienced as a new normality during studies, because in the future professional world of students, AR remote maintenance, VR advanced training, XR meetings will be commonplace.
The aim of "XR-CAMPUS Bayreuth" is to take immersive learning to the next level by inserting didactically considered formats and scenarios with virtual realities and enriched teaching materials (3D, VR, AR and XR) into analogue teaching formats and combining them with these. Central instruments of the XR Campus are the qualification of XR tutors and a planned XR Lab. Teams of teachers and XR tutors are being set up, while university didactic and media designer teams already exist at the Centre for Higher Education Teaching. They are already drivers of innovation in teaching, now they are promoting virtual interaction in teaching at XR-CAMPUS Bayreuth.
XR visualisations can facilitate learning processes and are remembered not only because of the supposed first contact with the new technology, but because of the visible things that now seem within reach. Previously abstract concepts become visible, almost tangible objects and scenes. The possibilities are limitless: virtual excursions to distant places where one can now orient oneself spatially compared to 2D representations (photos), trading in micro- and macrostructures in otherwise invisible areas such as laser beams, experiencing invisible things such as momentum and energy in a spinning top, insights into rooms that are difficult to access where machines and operations can be individualised and carried out independently of time in order to make the operation of real equipment in laboratory practicals easier or even obsolete, jumps in time with seminar participants e.g. to the Middle Ages in order to experience a new world. For example, into the Middle Ages to observe the living situation of people at a medieval market.
Instead of individual courses with VR glasses, XR media should now be used in several courses in parallel. To this end, XR tutors are to be deployed in sub-projects at the interface between lecturers from different chairs and university didactics as well as media design, who will first be further qualified didactically and technically. They accompany the use of the XR media and thus evaluate the interweaving of digital and analogue teaching. Once developed, the XR media remain in the teaching modules. The experiences are passed on via the Centre for Higher Education Teaching. 3D, VR, AR and XR will shape everyday teaching at the University of Bayreuth and beyond.
+++ Attention! On 28 April 2023, everything at the University will revolve around XR in teaching: On the "Teaching Day" under the motto "Next Level Digital Teaching", there will be keynotes, workshops and field reports on trends and possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR) in teaching. During the event, Minister of Science Markus Blume will also present the state government's "Prizes for Good Teaching". +++