VR Proposal - SPACES

As universities across the country increase and build on their technology, there are creative ways to display areas around each campus and classrooms. Online resources have become more prevalent for new students, currents, faculty, and staff. While working on campus most universities have an online event calendar which gives you information about each event and information about the rooms as well. Samford uses SPACES which stands for Samford’s Planning and Calendaring Event System. With SPACES, you can view any classroom, conference room, or space on campus to view the details of the event and room. Any event that is open to the public is available to view on or off-campus. All events are required to be entered by faculty and staff so our facilities management staff, HVAC, public safety and other resources can be properly scheduled in support. Of course, all events, meetings, and classes go through an approval process before it is posted to SPACES. Currently, in SPACES, you have the correct detailed information for each room such as the capacity and technology equipment in place. However, there are view a few rooms that have an actual picture of the room or the interior of the room. I propose to enhance the SPACES system with the enhancement of virtual reality in places of the rooms and room descriptions. Upon the completion of this addition, viewers will be able to view any room in a virtual environment before visiting or scheduling an event.

SPACES has proven to be a great resource for Samford. Faculty and Staff have been able to schedule and view room information for anywhere on campus. However, it would be convenient and helpful if faculty and staff could view more detailed information in the form of images and virtual reality images or video. The information displayed through text can be fair and accurate, but you can always gain a stronger scope of a room if you’re to view the room virtually. In my current job, I’m responsible for helping faculty who have any questions about the classroom size and technology in the College of Health Sciences. Every semester there are always a few faculty members that must teach somewhere outside of the CHS buildings and on the main campus for various reasons. Some of those reasons are because of the tight room scheduling at the beginning of the semester and some courses utilize “front-loading” for the first two weeks or needing to schedule a longer than usual class with a large group for a room that is used less on campus. Because of these reasons, I am asked for technology needs in these rooms. I will often visit the room physically or contact a potential counterpart from another department if the room is in their building. If SPACES provided a link or picture that linked to a virtual reality page, you could view all of the aspects of the room with by moving around a mouse pointer or using a touch screen. I also believe that interactive virtual reality campus tours could be added to SPACES or the Samford page as well. Yes, the campus is showcased in many videos and sometimes filmed with a drone, but I believe that a virtual environment can be recorded and added as well for others to view virtually. Virtual reality has many benefits in education and technology has improved over the years. Our viewing of rooms and campus can be enhanced by substituting text and still images for virtual reality and campus tours can be viewed virtually along with interactivity where you are shown different virtual environments based on your interactive choice during a video. I’ve learned many aspects of virtual reality while working on a previous project and using Adobe Captivate 2019. While working on the project it's evident that capturing or finding the right image and dimensions is critical for the proper display. Virtual reality can be fun and highly interactive on any device but using VR goggles gives you a stronger visual and improves its reality.

For this project, I will begin with the College of Health Sciences and record each room using a panoramic recording from a smartphone. After scanning and recording each room, I will load the images into Adobe Captivate 2019 to create the virtual reality environment for each room. Each room in the virtual environment will contain information about the technology through an interactive hotspot that will hover over where the technology is in the room. The environment will also outline detailed information about the room such as size and capacity. After completing the CHS building, I will propose operators of SPACES to add virtual reality links to their system. Overall, I hope that the enhancement of virtual reality for SPACES and eventually through campus tours interactively will increase engagement and proved to be an applicable addition to Samford University.

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