On 28 March, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit hosted their first mini conference of the year in person.
The mini conference’s theme was Virtual Reality. The conference materials are now available on our webpages.
The conference started with a keynote by Chris Rees who is the Executive Head of Digital Creativity and Learning Unit at University of Wales Trinity St David’s. Chris gave an overview of how UWTSD have been using two newly created immersive rooms (Swansea and Cardiff), with activities ranging from virtual reality gym training through to architectural walk throughs and health and safety training.
The conference then shifted to hearing how colleagues at AU are currently using VR in their learning and teaching. Amanda Jones and Bleddyn Lewis gave an insight into how the Healthcare Education Centre is using Wales’ Virtual Hospital. Education’s Steve Atherton makes use of VR in several modules, including placing students in different education contexts – from refugee camps through to Montessori education settings. After lunch, Helen Miles and Andra Jones (Computer Science) and Rebecca Zerk (Dewis Choice Project / Law and Criminology) ran a workshop outlining the challenges and benefits to VR. Participants also got the opportunity to sample the Dewis choice project using VR headsets.
What emerged from the event is that lots of colleagues are using VR in their learning and teaching. We’re looking at creating a space for colleagues to come together to discuss their approaches to VR. We’ve set up a Teams site. If you’re interested in Virtual Reality and would like to be added to the Teams site, email the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (email@example.com)
The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce the programme for its forthcoming Virtual Reality Mini Conference on Tuesday 28 March.
Booking for the event is already open. This mini conference is taking place in person in B23, Llandinam Building between 11:00 and 16:00.
The Mini Conference will start at 11:00 with a session by Chris Rees from UWTSD. Our blogpostannouncing Chris as our external speaker provides further information.
From 11:45, Amanda Jones and Bleddyn Lewis from the Healthcare Education Centre in the Department of Life Sciences will be showcasing what they do with their students in their session Embracing Virtual Reality within Healthcare Education for student nurses.
At 12:30, Education’s Steve Atherton will be presenting the session VR in Education.
A lunch break has been scheduled between 13:00 and 14:00. We will not be providing catering at this event but please feel free to bring your lunch along with you.
Between 14:00 and 16:00 Sarah Wydall, Helen Miles, Rebecca Zerk, and Andra Jones will be providing a 2 hour workshop identifying the next step in the evaluation for the use of VR as a training tool. This session is limited to 15 people – the session is first come, first served and you will be able to sign up for it on the morning of the mini conference.
Most of the sessions are hands on and interactive – you’ll have the opportunity to try out VR and see how colleagues are using it in their teaching.
The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is hosting a mini conference on Tuesday 28 March looking specifically at Virtual Reality. We’ll be showcasing colleagues’ work in this area from a variety of different disciplines. The event will be taking place in person. Booking for this event is already open via this online form.
In addition to this, we’re delighted to have Chris Rees from University of Wales, Trinity St. David’s (UWTSD) join us.
Chris is the Executive Head of Digital Creativity and Learning unit, with a background in teaching and learning across many age ranges. He has always had a keen interest in pedagogy and the use of digital technology to enhance the delivery of content and therefore, enrich learning. With 12 years’ experience of teaching and taking leaderships roles in schools across South Wales, Chris moved to a take a position of Strategic Lead in Digital Learning for a local authority. Within this 4 year tenure, Chris continued to research and implement digital pedological approaches including blended learning, synchronous and asynchronous delivery, VR and flipped learning with the goal of improving teachers skills and student experience
Within his role in UWTSD, Chris utilises his strategic, governance and management skills across the recently formed DCL unit, which includes the Digital learning team, Graphics, Print and Multimedia team, and the Web team. The position facilitates new approaches to digital creativity and learning within the institution, making use of the newly created team to develop innovative creative digital content for learning. More recently, Chris has been leading the team to develop the use of mixed reality and design content for specific use cases across the institutes. This includes the launch of the university’s immersive rooms, which are a similar design to a VR cave, but utilising the latest AV and Immersive technology to create a collaborative VR experience.
Keep an eye on our blog as we announce other contributors.
If you’ve got any questions about our mini conference then contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org).