Project Description

In the spring of 2023, Dr. Matt Levy, an associate professor of art history, assigned his ARTH 325: Impressionism to Surrealism class an assignment to be completed in VAR Edu. This was a dispersed integration, which meant that students did not come in as a group during class time. Instead, Dr. Levy provided a two-week long window for his students to stop in and complete the experience during VAR Edu’s weekly open hours. 

A total of forty-five students explored the Sistine Chapel VR program. As the program is PC-based, the Meta Quest 2s were air-linked to the workstations in VAR Edu that were capable of running the program. Five students could run the program simultaneously, but due to the dispersed nature of the experience, this capacity bottleneck was never reached. The week before the integration, Dr. Levy presented a module in class about Michelangelo and his work in the Sistine Chapel. Then, the students came into VAR Edu in their own time to view the paintings up close and in detail in virtual reality. 

Dr. Levy reported that his students responded positively to the program and found it to be an interactive and engaging way to learn art history. Integrations like this demonstrate the potential for immersive technologies to facilitate visits to unique locations without students having to leave the Behrend campus.