Colleges and universities were some of the earliest adopters of InstaVR — and some of the most innovative current users. The appeal of a fast, easy, no-code VR creation platform for all major headsets is obvious. We enable universities to enable all departments access to creating virtual reality applications.
There are many, many different use cases for InstaVR at colleges and universities. At some, it’s professors making immersive applications to share with students and the community. At others, it’s students themselves creating their own VR presensentations to educate other students. And at still others, VR is being used at an administrative level to train, plan, and even raise money.
We can’t cover all the InstaVR use cases in higher education in one post. If you have some time, it’s worth visiting our InstaVR Interviews page to read the actual interviews with higher education VR practitioners. But for the purpose of educating potential future InstaVR users in education, here are some major examples of clients leveraging InstaVR to create impressive VR applications.
Prior to InstaVR, virtual reality creation was mainly housed in the computer science or visual arts departments of universities. This severely limited access to the technology. With InstaVR — plus ubiqitous 360-degree cameras and affordable mobile standalone headsets like Oculus Go — any student in any department can make and distribute VR apps.
We’ve seen some universities put a single InstaVR license on a workstation. Others buy a limited number of licenses for students to share. And we’ve even seen a few universities invest so all students within a classroom have their own accounts.
The approach is really based on how often students will be creating VR and how many students there are. The one commonality is speed — all of our clients can quickly and easily make distribute-ready VR apps without coding. Making virtual reality is even easier than making a web page!
Top Client Examples:
German University in Cairo – Architecture students capture the majesty of historical Cairo buildings and present them via VR in headsets like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. A great way to help visualize the amazing architectural feats of centuries past in an immersive way.
Emporia State University – Marketing students help local businesses to uniquely and impressively market their businesses through virtual reality. In the process, the marketing students learn a new discipline (VR creation) that can be used in future careers.
PROFESSORS CREATING VR FOR STUDENTS
Professors creating VR for students is a great way to give students an immersive, memorable educational opportunity. The learning in a VR headset will be “stickier” than if they were distracted by their laptops and mobile phones in a classrom. And the immersion gives an unparalleled ability to transport a student far from the classroom for interactive learning.
Normally, VR would seem inaccessible to professors not in Computer Science or Visual Arts. But with InstaVR, it’s easy and quick to create! The ability to author apps without having to learn to code is a gamechanger.
We’ve received great feedback from Professors that have used VR in the classroom. It’s generally incredibly well-received by students. If you haven’t considered creating a VR app yet for fear of the time or effort it will take, you no longer have that as an excuse!
Top Client Examples:
University of South Wales – One of the leaders in the immersive space among our higher ed clients, this University creates interactive exercises for students to engage in for learning. For instance, they teach crime scene investigation through VR apps they’ve created themselves.
University of the West of Scotland – They’re creating a “Virtual University”, enabling students all over the world to learn from VR applications created at the main campus. They’ve also hosted visual artist D.O.M. to do a live art display using Virtual Reality.
University of Birmingham, UK – They’re training the next generation of social workers using VR. Immersing students in example client visits helps them become more comfortable, and also provides data points to the professor on where student focus is during the visits. They’ve also released the apps publicly on iTunes & Google Play to extend learning beyond just their classrooms.
UNIVERSITIES CREATING VR FOR MARKETING OR THE COMMUNITY
VR from colleges doesn’t have to be just for educational purposes. Many universities are using VR directly to appeal to students — be it virtual campus tours, “Day in the Life” VR videos, or showcasing virtual learning as part of the curriculum. The technology helps make what would traditionally be done via a brochure come alive. The deluge of mail from colleges looking for students can replaced with links to downloadable apps.
Colleges and universities are also developing VR apps in conjunction with the outside community. This helps leverage the intelligence and technical savvy of the universities, but for the good of the greater area. Because of the accessibility of VR, the immersive work at universities can reach hundreds or thousands of end users, making a real impact.
Top Client Examples:
University of Arkansas, Pulaski Technical College – They’re a real innovator in using VR for multiple marketing purposes — virtual college tours, showing off how their culinary school works, winning awards for their VR library tour, etc.
Texas State University – Working with the state of Texas, they’ve created VR Ambulance Bus Tour experiences to educate the drivers and technicians who rarely have access to Ambulance Buses, which are only used in extraordinary circumstances like mass casualty events. Great way to bring academia and government + business closer together.