UK university opens VR classroom

UK university opens VR classroom
Students at the University of Nottingham will be learning through a dedicated VR classroom, enabling remote viewing and teaching for students and lecturers.

Based in the university’s Engineering Science and Learning Centre (ELSC), this classroom, believed to be the first in the UK to use a dedicated VR classroom, using 40 VR headsets, 35 of which are tethered overhead to individual PCs, with five available as traditional, desk-based systems with display screens.

90 wireless headsets are also available to loan to students, which can be used both on and off campus to allow students to continue studies outside the classroom. Staff and student access is also available to several 3D scanners and 360 stereoscopic cameras.

This new facility forms part of the university’s wider goal of enabling real-time collaboration across international campuses, enabling students to work seamlessly in labs or in design-based exercises.

The university will also be working to create custom environments and objects that are suitable for teaching a range of engineering and architecture subjects, enabling students on other courses to access the VR classroom.

The room can also be used flexibly for other teaching purposes as, the headsets can be raised into the ceiling space when not in use.

Professor Joel Segal, head of mechanical engineering materials and manufacturing engineering, faculty of engineering, University of Nottingham, commented: “While many universities, including us, have existing VR labs, these are nowhere near the scale of our newly unveiled facilities, which will provide our students with access to cutting edge tools and technologies unlike anything else on offer across the globe.

“We have a desire to be at the forefront of technology in teaching and we’ve already been making strides in this area in recent years in our smaller VR labs. Now, however, we have the opportunity to take the lead in the UK and further build our reputation for producing engineers that are ready to shape the real world.”

Photo credit: Univeristy of Nottingham 

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