Extended Reality (XR) as a High Impact Practice (HIP)

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Extended Reality (XR) technologies, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 360 video, offer us a novel way to engage with material. For instance, AR invites users to interact with spaces in a unique manner by overlaying digital content on the real world. Likewise, VR encourages users to immerse themselves in new environments and experiences. While XR technology may sound futuristic, many of us encounter XR in our daily lives and will likely do so more frequently in the coming years. By providing opportunities for active learning, rapid feedback, and new means of processing information, XR has great potential for higher education (Educause, 2019).

However, including an XR experience alone does not necessarily improve a learner's grasp of the content. When "closely paired with non-XR learning engagements" (Educause, 2019), XR has the potential to foster high impact learning experiences.

By combining the elements of a strong experiential learning activity and core components of effective HIPs, an XR activity can be transformed from a novelty to an impactful learning exercise.


Introduction to HIP-XR Workshop

The Office of Academic Success Initiatives and Support (ASIS) in collaboration with The Center for Faculty Development (CFD) offers this workshop as means of introducing faculty to the possibilities of XR use for learning.

During three two -hour sessions, participants to examine the use of commercially available, low cost XR as a potential HIP that fosters experiential learning. Facilitators will provide critical frameworks regarding the use of XR in the classroom as well as for high impact assignment design. Throughout the workshop, participants will practice with XR, such as 360 video, AR, and VR.

The goal of the workshop is to help participants begin designing potential XR-enhanced learning activities. As such, the workshop concludes with time dedicated to assignment design and peer feedback.

HIP-XR Program

ASIS aims to foster a community of practitioners who approach XR as a HIP. The primary mission of the program is to collaborate with faculty interested in using XR as well as helping students reflect and capture their experience with XR experiences.

This program initially focuses on helping faculty identify viable XR opportunities, vetting their use, and designing XR-enhanced learning activities with HIP components. To generate and support this community, the HIP-XR program offers a scaffolded series of faculty engagement workshops, ranging from incorporating existing XR content to considering strategies for creating unique XR experiences. The HIP-XR program will also create support mechanisms for both faculty and students engaged in XR learning activities.

XR Research, Scholarship, and Examples

Research regarding the impact of XR use in higher education is rapidly evolving. As such, we will be updating this material over time. While the resources below are not exhaustive, they highlight trends in the field and offer examples of use across disciplines.

Join a XR Listserv

Want to stay abreast of the on-going conversation with the larger community of XR scholars? Join the XR (Extended Reality) Community Group listserv!


If you are interested in participating in HIP-XR events or incorporating XR elements in your course, please contact Dr. Megan Mize at mmize@odu.edu.