Staging Effective Graduate School Residencies in Opensim VR: Methodologies and Insights
Faced with evolving pandemic safety classroom protocols and procedures, and the ever present possibility (or probability) of a rapid switch to all online learning, educators across the academic spectrum are recognizing the need for flexible, adaptable online collaborative technologies that can alleviate the effects of Chronic Video Conferencing Fatigue (CVCF) and restimulate learner engagement. For the past three years the SUNY Empire State College School of Graduate Studies has hosted half-day residency events in Opensim virtual reality as a means to introduce new students to the graduate programs to their peers, the faculty, and a broad range of interactive, immersive, collaborative technologies which they may consider for their individual degree programs. The 2020 residency, held in October, hosted over three times the number of attendees than the previous year from a variety of different degree programs, a clear indication of the increased interdepartmental interest in exploring online interactive immersive technologies. Each successive annual event has incorporated participant feedback from the previous year into the programming development of the following event iteration This slideshow presentation outlines the iterative steps and methodologies involved in the creation of a large, successful, immersive, engaging and informative event in Opensim.