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University first in Wales to invest in Immersive Rooms to create new student experience

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is collaborating with industry leading AV providers to install two innovative, state-of-the-art immersive rooms, providing its students and partners with world leading learning spaces which transform education.

Working with AV partner, IDNS, and part funded by the Higher Education Council Funding Wales (HEFCW), work is underway to install the first new learning spaces of their kind in Wales at the University’s  Carmarthen and Swansea campuses.  The Immersive Rooms will utilise the latest Samsung LED screens across three walls creating a fully immersive virtual and augmented reality user experience.

Once complete, these learning spaces will allow students to experience immersive virtual reality, 360° videos and images and applications through partner, Igloo Vision’s immersive software.

Immersive learning is a hugely effective way for many learners to develop their knowledge and skills. It provides artificial, digitally created content and environments that accurately replicates real life scenarios so that new skills and techniques can be learned and perfected. Learners aren’t simply passive spectators; they get to be active participants who directly influence outcomes. It also offers a risk-free and safe space where learning can be repeated, and success can be accurately measured.

Professor Elena Rodriguez Falcon, FREng, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD said: “The University prides itself on providing relevant, contextual, and authentic learning experiences, evidenced by engagement with world challenges and diverse partners.

“We also know that experiential learning sometimes is less practical and accessible, and that is why, we have purposely invested in immersive learning spaces, to ensure that not only the learning is brought to live, but that learners are taken into the virtual worlds of their subjects and challenges they are likely to face.”

Chris Rees, Executive Head of Digital Creativity and Learning at UWTSD said: “Immersive learning can be hugely beneficial to a learner’s development, enriching their knowledge base and practical skills.

“We are excited to announce the opening of our two brand new immersive learning rooms in March 2023! These state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with 18 meters of LED screens, providing a fully immersive experience for students. With a cost of over £1 million, this investment in technology demonstrates our commitment to providing students with the best learning experience possible. Whether it be virtual field trips, simulations or interactive lessons, the rooms will allow students to engage with the material in a new and exciting way.”

James Cale, UWTSD’s Director of Digital Services said: “Through immersive spaces, we are able to revolutionise the way students learn, by providing them with an interactive, engaging, and memorable educational experience that brings the curriculum to life.

“Implementing immersive spaces in education not only enhances the students’ engagement and motivation but also allows them to experience and interact with the curriculum in a more meaningful and memorable way. This approach allows for more hands-on and experiential learning, which research has shown to be more effective in promoting long-term retention of information.

“The use of immersive technology such as virtual and augmented reality, allows students to explore and learn about subjects and concepts that would be otherwise difficult or impossible to replicate in a traditional classroom setting. At the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, we are excited to be at the forefront of this innovative approach to learning, utilizing immersive spaces to enhance the student learning experience and prepare them for the future.”

Laura Mills of Igloo said: “Igloo Vision is proud to have worked alongside University of Wales Trinity Saint David, IDNS and Samsung to deliver the first LED immersive space in Wales. Using Igloo Vision’s immersive software and the latest Samsung LED technology, the space will offer engaging experiences for staff, students, and visitors.

“An Igloo immersive space is a bit like stepping into a giant VR headset – except you can get whole groups inside. Igloo designs and develops the technology that can make any space an immersive one. Any kind of digital content, including immersive virtual reality, 360° videos and images and daily office tools can be shared with whole groups in one of these spaces, so University of Wales Trinity Saint David has unlimited opportunities for what it can do with its Immersive Room. “

Vicky Jennings, Technology Consultant at IDNS said : “IDNS is proud to be delivering the first LED immersive space in Wales at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. By delivering the 18-metre immersive space using the latest Samsung LED technology, users will have a visual and sensory experience brought to life through unparalleled visuals and immaculate detail.

“This ground-breaking development sparks a new era in collaboration and engagement at the university and attests to their forward-thinking approach to using digital technologies that enhance the learning experience.”