Introducing Virtual Reality to the Fairfield U Campus
In early 2019 the Library purchased Oculus Rift Virtual Reality technology, which was accessible during the Spring semester to students, faculty and staff. Moving forward it is expected that more and more faculty and students will seek out the equipment for curricular use. The Mirror published an article in February sharing that the Film, Television and Media Arts program also has their own Virtual Reality (VR) setup for students enrolled in film courses.
Several classes used the Library's equipment by booking a designated study room. One particular course, Dr. Schwab's Art History 10 classes accessed the Rome Reborn program to help them get a sense of what it was like to walk through ancient Rome and experience the monuments in-situ. Film Professor, Patrick Brooks, engaged a group of faculty and librarians from various disciplines about how VR can be used in the classroom and their own research. There was great interest from all in attendance to incorporate VR into the classroom to help create a more immersive learning environment.
In addition, the Library hosted an Open House for the campus community to test out the equipment with a librarian expert and a "Relax with VR" event where meditational experiences were enjoyed for a quick respite during finals week.
Virtual Reality Student Survey
In April 2019, to choose the May finals week study room winners, the survey topic focused on Virtual Reality. Check out the infographic below to see how Fairfield University students responded.
Every semester the Library offers a VIP Study Room during finals week for 24 hours. There are typically eight days when the Library is open 24 hours so eight winners are selected. How are they selected? Students take a quick survey on a library related topic. The data is helpful to the library staff to understanding services, resources, student interests, trends, etc.
The world of VR and AR (augmented reality) is changing rapidly and predicted to grow rapidly, not only in the classroom but in healthcare, gaming and business arenas. Check out the Library's Virtual Reality guide, which includes a list of resources including a link to a VR market growth dossier (accessible through the Library's Statista database) presenting a range of statistics, facts and forecasts about VR.
Due to summer building renovations at the Library there will not be access to VR. Library staff are dedicated to making it accessible in the Fall 2019 and beyond so that all students at Fairfield University have an opportunity, regardless of their major of study, to learn about this cutting edge technology.