Immersive Learning

Extended Reality has the capability to bring a more immersive learning experience to classrooms across all disciplines. Through a virtual reality headset, students can visit the Athenian Acropolis, examine cells at the molecular level, and create art and 3D models. LEDS has a variety of VR systems available to be used in our training room in the library.

Immersive learning with extended reality (XR) has the power to bring hypothetical learning scenarios to life, making important but difficult to conceptualize topics lucid for students. (Extended reality is an umbrella term for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality.) Technology has always played a part in education, but with the proliferation of low cost XR equipment and software, the classroom can make use of a new realm of interactivity. XR technology allows for  a complete reconceptualization of the relationship between the student and the object of learning, and the potential impact on teaching and learning is significant. Not only are the types of experiences in a classroom expanded considerably, but the level of engagement with the subject matter can be explored in new and exciting ways. A large number of discipline-specific applications are already available on the various platforms, and they are expanding quickly. Below you will find some of these applications that have already been implemented in the classrooms of several departments. This technology allows for new classroom learning experiences as well as creative potential that is just beginning to be realized. LEDS is actively exploring not only learning applications already available, but how we and our students can use the Unity platform and 360 video to begin creating our own extended reality experiences.

How VR is Being Used for Teaching and Learning

Students Explore the Mogao Caves of Western China

Students Explore the Mogao Caves of Western China

Students in Ben Bogin's How to See a Buddha class were able to take a virtual fieldtrip to the Mogao Caves of western China. The students explored a number of exquisite grottoes constructed between the 4th and 14th centuries. These grottoes contain some of the most...

Applications Used in Recent Courses by Discipline

Asian Studies

The Body VR

JuiceBox VR

Autodesk Molecule Viewer

Molecule VR

Media and Film Studies


The Plank

Arizona Sunshine

A room of students use virtual reality headsets in a classroom

VR Request Form

Make an appointment to meet and discuss how an XR application might be incorporated into your curriculum to further engage, challenge, and stimulate students in the classroom.

Make Request


What Faculty and Students Are Saying

My Electricity and Magnetism class requires students to be able to visualize and understand complicated 3D surfaces and vector fields that can only be represented in two dimensions in a textbook, on a computer, or on a chalkboard. Virtual Reality provided my students with a new perspective by allowing them to literally step inside and manipulate these 3D objects.
Evan Halstead

Teaching Professor, Physics

I was able to see statues and wall engravings up close so I truly felt like I was there. The guided tours were also very helpful in understanding the meaning behind the art. It was very interesting and exciting overall. It really made me excited about learning and I didn’t want to stop exploring.


Student, How to See a Buddha

Many students are visual and emotional learners, and could understand the sizes and distances in space more meaningfully through VR than through static images and numbers. Through VR, we could also study the “overview effect” – an experience shared by astronauts who see the fragile Earth from space and recognize it as a community we should all try to protect and nourish.
Mary Odekon

Professor and Kenan Chair of Liberal Arts, Physics


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