During the month of July 2020, Studio X staff administered a survey to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Rochester to better understand their needs and interests regarding immersive technologies. These findings were used to inform Studio X’s fall 2020 pilot programming. As of the close of the survey in late July 2020, 58 students responded to the survey.
Q1: Please indicate your familiarity with the following tools:
On average, a majority of students are unfamiliar or have only heard of common XR tools and platforms. A minority of students have experienced deeper engagement by either creating something or teaching others.
Q2: Do you own a VR headset?
Few students own VR headsets. It may be reasonably assumed that they remain cost-prohibitive.
Q3: Given your experience with XR, how might you anticipate needing support to develop an XR project?
Q4: Which skill or tool are you most interested in learning?
Q5: What XR platforms or projects interest you? Can you imagine using XR to enhance your own research and learning? If so, how?
In general, students responses were very specific, but a majority of them fall under the STEM disciplines. For example, students envisioned engaging with XR for physical reasoning, machine learning, electrical design, 3D audio, etc.
Many students also expressed uncertainty about how they might use XR technologies but were very enthusiastic about developing a new skillset and gaining hands-on experience.
This response stood out, in particular, because it underscores the value of exposure not only to the tools and methods but to real examples and use cases. New XR users require opportunities to make and experiment but also to see how others are leveraging these technologies to grasp the possibilities.
Q6: Is there anything else we should keep in mind?
Students’ concerns, questions, and suggestions
Provide virtual workshops & prioritize hygiene and sanitation of equipment
Beginner Friendly Options
Demystify XR & cover the basics of tools and methods
Keep an Open Mind
Provide equal access for all students & create “noneducational” opportunities
“I would love to help!” & create peer-teaching opportunities
Stand Out from the Crowd
Campus is over programmed & distinguish your space and services from Rettner
VR cables are annoying and Carlson can be out of the way for students