Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL)


Offering a variety of eXtended Reality (XR) tools in a flexible learning environment, the Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL) Research Center serves as an incubator to enable experiences that would be impossible or out of reach in a traditional learning environment. A new Learning Research Studio, located in Adams Humanities (AH-1120), VITaL promotes experimentation with curriculum design and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Highlights from the 2022–23 academic year are available via the VITaL Research Center Annual Report.

For more information on VITaL, please see our blogpost outlining the courses utilizing VITaL and available VR/AR equipment available at SDSU.

Features and Benefits

Today, virtual and augmented reality is changing how people work and learn. For instance, physicians can practice performing surgeries; first responders can simulate how to react to situations that are extraordinarily dangerous or infrequent; military personnel can experience risky scenarios without leaving the safety of their base; retail sales people can prepare for peak holiday periods or try out products that will be coming soon. With this as context, VITaL will serve as an incubator for research on the next wave of virtual and augmented technologies that can enable experiences that would be impossible or out of reach in a traditional learning environment.
VITaL utilizes skills, knowledge, and expertise from across all areas of ITS and engages with faculty from across all colleges at SDSU. This new Learning Research Studio, located in Adams Humanities, room AH-1120, promotes experimentation with curriculum design and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Offering a wide array of VR and AR tools, VITaL is designed to leverage partnerships with key industry players such as Microsoft, Magic Leap, and Yale University. Collaborators and stakeholders will be invited to showcase their efforts via workshops and other events in this flexible learning space.
VITaL is leading the way in changing the traditional learning environment through cutting-edge simulation technology to set students up for success in an increasingly digital world. With a wide variety of resources now being made available to faculty such as the Meta Quest, Magic Leap, Microsoft HoloLens, and an array of 360° cameras, students have the opportunity to engage with course material to learn in a new way. More information on this equipment can be found in the VITaL faculty handout. With the help of this equipment, the VITaL initiative has impacted 56 faculty and 70 classes throughout the university and is continuing to grow. With the kickoff of the VITaL Research Center Faculty Fellowship Grant program in the 2022-23 academic year, there are numerous opportunities for faculty to remain engaged and drive innovation forward. As part of its ongoing commitment to excellence, the VITaL Research Center is continuously investigating methods to improve the teaching and learning experience with the use of immersive technologies. In the future, public-private partnerships will be instrumental in continuing to drive this innovation through continued funding for the program as the Center takes on more collaborative opportunities with faculty, staff, and students.

Getting Started Questions

How can I use the VITaL functionality in my teaching/research? – To schedule a time to discuss the possibilities for your area of teaching or research, contact ITS Director, Dr. Sean Hauze: [email protected]

How can I reserve time in VITaL? – Please fill out our Learning Research Studio Reservation form and note that you are interested in AH-1120, the VITaL Learning Research Studio. ITS staff will respond to your request as soon as possible.

If I am not scheduled to teach in AH-1120, can I still use the VITaL equipment? – Yes, we have several immersive learning devices for checkout, including 360º cameras, head-mounted displays (HMDs), a VR backpack, and Google Cardboards.

Summer and Breaks
Faculty Support: 8am – 4:30pm daily
Classroom Support: 7:30am – 4pm daily

Instructional Technology Services
Adams Humanities, 1st Floor
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr.
San Diego, CA 92182-8114