Explore SDSU day is a free all-campus event featuring information sessions, tours, and open houses. This is a great opportunity for future students to explore what life is like at SDSU. Thus, Instructional Technology Services was there to demonstrate how they are assisting faculty and students with technologies on campus. ITSers Ethan Garcia, David Snider, and Linda Woods were there to make sure ITS was well represented! Carter Andrews, head of the Virtual Reality club at SDSU, also stopped by to assist.
The VITaL initiative was a huge draw, as all age groups were eager to experience the latest in emerging technologies. Two completely wireless headsets playing the Star Chart app, which involves a 3D galaxy environment users can fly around in, were experienced by dozens of participants. “Wow!” was a common first word when putting on the headset. Some users got so immersed while viewing the galaxy they didn’t want to leave.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an ITS event without some data! There were over 82 respondents to our post-experience survey. We found that 45% had experienced VR before, while 55% had not. In addition, 97.5% reported that they enjoyed the VR experience, and 95% reported they thought it would be valuable instructional tool. When dividing by educational status, 63% of the participants were K-12 Students, which in many cases were future Aztecs! Furthermore, 19% were undergraduate college students, 7% were graduated students, 9% were parents/visitors, and 1% were Instructors/Staff.
Another feature at the ITS table was the Google Jam board. Folks enjoyed writing on it, creating clip art, and generally testing the device.
ITS is also a big proponent of Affordable Learning Solutions. Our position next to the “Transfer Student” desk was ideal. These were students that, for the most part, have committed to coming to SDSU. Linda Woods spoke with numerous parents and students about the Open Educational Resources and other offerings on campus available to help reduce student financial burden. It is interesting to note that in general, parents seem more interested in reducing costs than future students!