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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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SDSU Recognized for Innovation in Teaching and Research

SDSU continues to receive recognition for its use of technology to teach educational concepts in the classroom.
By Ryan Schuler

San Diego State University’s Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL) team received the Gold Award in the category of “Technology Supporting Innovation in Teaching and Research” at the Cal State Tech Conference earlier this month in Sacramento.

The conference brings together academic and information technologists from all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses to share, learn, collaborate, and strengthen the CSU’s instructional and infrastructure technologies. 

In fall 2017, SDSU’s Instructional Technology Services (ITS) launched the VITaL initiative to enable faculty to teach with state-of-the-art technologies, and to include faculty and students in the educational technology research and design process. 

The initiative promotes experimentation with curriculum design and the scholarship of teaching and learning in a flexible, collaboration-minded and technology-rich environment.

Since its launch, the VITaL initiative has been integrated into the curriculum of 26 courses, ranging from 100-level undergraduate classes to 700-level doctoral research seminars.

VITaL space

As part of the VITaL initiative, ITS recently introduced the VITaL space, located in Adams Humanities. It serves as an incubator for immersive learning through virtual and augmented reality. The space provides a variety of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and 360-degree video immersive tools for use across the SDSU pedagogical spectrum.

The use of VITaL in these areas of instruction and research range from studying the use of holographic patient simulation via the Microsoft HoloLens to deliver nursing instruction, to teaching phases of the moon via a VR application titled Universe Sandbox.

A trailblazer

SDSU is an internationally recognized leader for using experiential technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to develop new ways to teach educational concepts in classrooms and improve learning outcomes. 

Last year, SDSU hosted more than 150 administrators, faculty and staff for the CSU Immersive Learning Summit—an event exploring the use of immersive technology for teaching and learning in higher education.

“San Diego State University has a long history of promoting innovative technology in teaching and learning, and has a very powerful team led by James Frazee,” said Michael Berman, chief innovation officer for the CSU system, at the summit last October. “Campuses across the CSU look at SDSU as one of the leaders in this area because there is strong support and a good spirit of experimentation and connectivity with faculty.”