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2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 ; 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2327266


Extended reality (XR) technologies continue gaining traction in multiple higher education contexts. As XR becomes more commercially accessible to students and universities, its convenience for educational purposes presents a renewed potential for exploration. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there is also a growing interest in cross-platform, socially orientated software for remote educational practices. However, the precise role of XR technologies and how they contribute to student experiences of remote learning, particularly the unique affordances of social virtual reality (VR) for evoking an embodied sense of presence, is relatively unknown. Based on real-world experiences, we present a case study on a social VR intervention in a remote higher education classroom to inspire Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers to investigate further the issues that arise from our practice-based research. Our motivations were to report, analyze, and summarize everyday virtual learning environment (VLE) challenges, identify design considerations for VLE technologies, and comment on social VR's utility in delivering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in a remote setting. We apply a practical approach to investigate and identify potential HCI problems, capture the unique experiences of STEM students during the lockdown, and explore the effects of tutorial activities that give students agency in constructing VLEs. The findings of this student-focused case study draw attention to the design of social VR activities that support conventional, web browser-based VLEs. © 2023 Owner/Author.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 Art Gallery - Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Conference - Asia, SA 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1736120


'MR Ulysses' is a creative project investigating the possibilities of live performance using volumetric video (VV) techniques displayed via VR and AR technologies. It explores the opening scene of James Joyce's acclaimed modern masterpiece of twentieth-century literature, 'Ulysses'. Set in 1904, 'Ulysses' is noted for its geographic specificity, and every year Joyce scholars and enthusiasts ritualis-tically visit Dublin on June 16th to celebrate an annual literature pilgrimage called "Bloomsday."The tradition involves dressing up in the fashion of the day, retracing the steps of the central characters by visiting many of the sites that are mentioned, and eating, drinking, and re-enacting scenes from the book. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the global culture industry of live performance events all but collapsed. The impact on theatre performers, artists, audiences, and stakeholders has been substantial. Bloomsday usually attracts thousands of literature tourists to Ireland's capital city to engage in performances at multiple locations around Dublin;however, in 2020, it was canceled due to the pandemic. In 2021 there was a better effort to hold online events, but they lacked the sense of place and presence so crucial to Bloomsday. This sociological turn has occasioned a profound new emphasis on the need for theatre/performance practitioners to explore the immersive potential of AR/VR technologies because the shortcomings of simple videoconferencing/webcasting are obvious for theatre audiences. 'MR Ulysses' is the first part of a series of creative-cultural experiments investigating questions around preservation, access, reactivation, and the transmission of dramatic/literary heritage in the twenty-first century. Captured using cuttingedge VV techniques, MR Ulysses enables audiences from any part of the globe to experience a live-action Bloomsday ritual in a site-specific 3D simulation via a VR headset. The goal is to suggest new horizons for the performing arts in the context of interactive digital media technologies. © 2021 Owner/Author.