UNF’s new Virtual Learning Center (VLC), which is located on the 3rd floor of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library, offers students and faculty to enhance their learning through virtual content. The virtual learning is provided through AR and VR technologies.
The Library staff are trained to assist both faculty and students if they are unfamiliar with the technology.
“We interviewed staff and even visited a number of ‘similar’ spaces at other institutions – but most of them had only begun to incorporate VR/AR technologies into existing ‘maker spaces’ where students could play with this sort of technology. What we were seeing on the library’s horizon, however, was that burgeoning VR/AR technologies were becoming much more critical to content delivery for the curricular and research endeavors at a university than merely ‘playing’ with it.” – Dr. Brant Mai, Dean, Thomas G. Carpenter Library.
Academic Affairs and donors funded the Virtual Learning Center (VLC). Before COVID-19, 1st August 2020 was intended to be the launch of the VLC.
“Everything from planning to permitting to construction to getting occupancy has taken longer during the pandemic, but eventually Adam Chalmers and his team had all of the new furnishings and equipment in place and tested, and for the past several weeks, we’ve had ‘soft opening’ activities going on in the space.” Dr. Brant Mai.
The VLC was recently launched on 4th March 2021.
“Kelly Hovinga from Fort Hays State University will be joining the Library’s faculty in April as UNF’s first Virtual Learning Librarian. Her primary responsibility will be to work with classroom faculty on integrating content provided by the VLC into the courses that they’re teaching and the research that they’re doing.” – Dr. Mai.
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