Exploring virtual reality and written arguments with WRT 105

Each semester, Writing 105: Uncertainty begins by collaborating with Studio X. Students are invited to explore uncertainty by testing ideas about how extended reality technologies impact our communication, senses, and understanding of our world around us. This fall, 2023, Assistant Director Meg Moody presented an excellent “Intro to XR” workshop where students learned about the history and applications of these technologies. Following this presentation, the Studio X team helped students try out VR experiences, many for the first time. The VR experiences offered included an introductory experience, first steps, a VR version of the trolley problem, and virtual roller coasters. Kate Phillips, the instructor for WRT 105: Uncertainty, asked students to put these experiences into conversation with work from philosophers, psychologists, and other researchers in order to develop arguments that respond to questions such as “What, if anything, can we learn about what is right and wrong through using VR?” and “Will the proliferation of virtual reality technologies create more or less access (to experiences, opportunities, etc.) and equity?” Students are invited to modify the questions, or create their own with the goal of developing their own unique arguments that contribute to our understanding of these technologies and emerging debates about them. Please enjoy reading their thoughtful creations!