Teaching Competition Details

Virtual Reality Teaching

Could a Virtual Reality App Help your Students in their Learning?

Practical and affordable Virtual Reality (VR) technology is now available, and it is extraordinarily powerful. VR allows users to experience distant worlds, microscopic environments, or physically inaccessible places and times, and we think that the teaching potential for this technology is incredible and achievable. (You may wish to watch this short video for insight into the potential: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFN7hTmBcsY .)

To activate this potential, educators need the right content and, for the most part, that content does not yet exist. So, our plan is to build it ourselves. We have an industry partner in place (Soluis Group) and an academic (Dr Neil McDonnell) with the expertise to guide colleagues from the initial idea to fruition. No coding or design expertise is required from academics!

Call for Proposals

We are seeking the very best ideas for how to use VR in University teaching, and we intend to develop the ten best ideas into professional-standard applications.

In this first stage, we are calling for staff within the University of Glasgow to submit ideas for VR teaching applications. We require a 200 word outline of the idea, including an indication of why it might be useful to students, and an accompanying note of approval from your Head of School/Institute indicating that the development would be relevant to the programme and student cohort you have in mind. Applications can be made at this link, and the call is open until 5pm, Friday 19th May 2017. (The total time commitment for academics, including consultation time during the competition and afterwards with Soluis, is expected to be less than three days, spread over a period of around nine months.)

Successful applicants will be advanced to a second stage call where support and coaching will be available before a final submission. See competition details below for more information.

Please contact vrar-lab@glasgow.ac.uk with enquiries.

Competition Details

Our Virtual Reality teaching ideas competition is designed to gather and develop outstanding teaching applications for VR within the University, and to use those ideas to develop a sustainable process whereby the University of Glasgow can produce VR (and later Augmented Reality, AR) applications for teaching year-on-year. The result of doing so should be a fantastic learning experience, and the establishment of Glasgow as a leader in this emerging VR/AR field.

To render the process sustainable, we will aim to licence a package of outstanding teaching applications to other Higher Education Institutions, the revenue from which can be used to re-invest in development of the next wave of applications. This means that when assessing the competition applications, the panel will consider the applicability of the proposed VR applications to other institutions. This will not be a significant factor in the first phase of the competition, however.

First stage: Applicants are asked to submit a brief (200 word) outline of the idea, including an indication of why it might be useful to students, and an accompanying note of approval from your Head of School/Institute indicating that the development would be relevant to the programme and student cohort you have in mind. Applications can be made through the form here, and the call is open from noon, April 17th until 5pm, Friday 19th May 2017. At the point of application, you must also confirm your availability for a workshop on Monday 5th June, and for consultancies during weeks commencing 5th June and 12th June 2017 should you be successful.

Method of assessment: a panel of assessors, chaired by Professor Moira Fischbacher-Smith, will assess the first stage applications and select approximately 20 of the most viable. Criteria at this stage will be:

Practicality - How practical is the idea to create? This criterion doesn’t relate to the technical practicalities but rather, to the complexity of the idea as a teaching intervention.

Relevance - How useful would it be as a learning experience to students on the course/programme of study?

Lifespan - Although technology is evolving and any app will have a natural lifespan, apps will need to be valid for a few years as a learning tool. They cannot be updated/revised annually.

Those whose applications have successfully advanced to the second stage will be notified on May 29th.

Second Stage: Those selected to progress to the second stage will be invited to attend a one-hour seminar with Dr McDonnell, and book a further individual consultation (one hour), to create a refined, workable, VR application brief. The workshop will take place on Monday 5th June, and consultancies will take place in weeks commencing 5th June and 12th June 2017. Applicants must ensure availability during that time. The second stage submission will ask for further details of the impact of the idea on student learning, and its relevance to other institutions, and will be due for submission by Friday 7th July 2017.

Method of assessment: the panel of assessors will assess the second stage applications in light of the following criteria:

Practicality - How practical is the idea to create? This criterion doesn’t relate to the technical practicalities but rather, to the complexity of the idea as a teaching intervention.

Cost of Production - How expensive will the application be to create?

Student Learning Potential - How relevant would it be to students and what value would it bring to their course/programme. What graduate attributes or core skills will it address?

Commercial Potential - How relevant to other HEIs will the eventual application be?

Lifespan - Although technology is evolving and any app will have a natural lifespan, apps will need to be valid for a few years as a learning tool.

Overall Strength and Value for Money

The panel will then select up to 10 winning ideas – the winners will be announced on Monday 31st July 2017. Dependent upon funding, those winning ideas will be created by our partner company (Soluis) and will be made available for use in teaching.

As noted above, the total time commitment for academics, including consultation time during the competition and afterwards with Soluis, is expected to be less than three days, spread over a period of around nine months.

Key Dates:

1st Call open: 17th April

1st Call closed: 19th May

1st Round assessment/results by: 29th May

2nd Round workshop: 5th June

2nd Round consultations: w/c 5th and 12th June

2nd Round submission: 7th July

Final assessment/results by: 31st July