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Immersive Learning Technologies

Modern computer technologies, like three-dimensional graphics and virtual reality, offer immersive experiences for users. Our researchers are exploring ways these technologies can enhance education, entertainment, and simulation. In conjunction with the Virtual Immersive Technologies and Arts for Learning (VITAL) Lab, our researchers develop virtual reality and simulation games and applications to enhance learning about subjects ranging from migraine self-care to chemistry to personal finance.

Dr. Chang Liu is developing some of these learning technologies and programs:

  • Usability of mobile software applications - health care and learning
  • Use of data visualization in software engineering
  • Immersive software applications for education
    • The "BooKS in Classroom" (Boat-of-Knowledge in the Science Classroom) project is a 5-year, $2.6M project funded by the NSF GK-12 program. This project enhances and broadens science and engineering education of graduate students at Ohio University by working with high school students in regional school districts. It supports improvement of graduate student communication skills through activities on the Boat-of-Knowledge and interaction with high school teachers and students. The Boat-of-Knowledge, a central component of the BooKS project, is a scientific investigation boat operating on the Ohio River.

STEAM (Science and Technology Enrichment for Appalachian Middle- Schoolers) is a $1.6M NSF GK-12 project. Over 20 engaging interactive digital learning objects were developed in the STEAM project. Positive impacts on student science learning due to these digital learning objects and the graduate fellows’ school visits were observed. Results show improvement in student learning. In addition, the project produced a significant culture change at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University, by involving graduate students in making contributions to the surrounding community. As a result, more domestic Master’s students have stayed to pursue doctoral training and strong interactions between the university and local school districts were established. Two former STEAM Graduate Fellows became one of the seven finalist teams in the graduate student division of the Collegiate Inventor's Competition (CIC) in 2012. In October 2010, the STEAM project was invited to attend the first ever U.S. Science and Engineering Expo in Washington, D.C. as one of about a dozen projects representing the NSF.