A MOOC series being developed by Dr. Rebecca Quintana and Dr. Chris Quintana will be among 10 new courses enhanced by extended reality (XR) technologies and offered through a partnership between U-M’s Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) and Coursera. The MOOC series, An Introduction to Learning Experience Design, will be developed as part of the creators’ work with the School of Education’s EdHub.
All 10 XR-enhanced courses will be a part of CAI’s upcoming Michigan Online Future of Work Academy, created in collaboration with U-M faculty innovators and the center’s teams, including extended reality software developers, learning experience designers, behavioral scientists, and media designers. In these new courses, learners will be able to develop skills critical to the future of work and society. The courses leverage XR technology to provide a level of immersion only possible in virtual, mixed, and augmented reality environments.
Rebecca says, “We are excited about the power and potential of XR to enable immersive, dynamic, and experiential learning opportunities through a series of five online courses focused on the learning experience design profession. By providing learners with opportunities to engage in authentic and professional design contexts with XR, we expect that learners will realize a deeper awareness of situational and contextual factors related to instructional design processes, practices, and problems.”
The design team is considering integrating XR-enhanced learning experiences through a range of interactive and immersive learning technologies, such as 360-videos accessed through web browsers, mobile devices, and head-mounted displays. Chris says, “We are hoping that these XR-enhancements will allow us to create experiences that give learners chances to develop and practice professional skills that might otherwise only be taught in internship or campus settings. We see XR-enhancements as a way for learners to develop professional skills and competencies that are needed to thrive as learning professionals. With XR, we can offer learners the chance to be immersed in various design contexts, allowing them to enact LXD competencies and reflect on various design processes.”
The notion of “learning affordances” for XR—characteristics of an environment that enable particular behaviors and interactions to occur—is a topic that Rebecca explored with students in EDUC 618: Educational Applications of Augmented and Virtual Reality. The team plans to employ these theoretical perspectives in the design of the MOOC series. Rebecca notes, “Additionally, this work can also give us a platform as researchers and designers to think about the affordances of XR and think about judiciously incorporating XR into learning experiences and to consider how and when XR can enhance learning.”
Like any good learning experience designer, the team is thinking carefully about who their learners will be. Chris says, “We expect that the series will be valuable to learners contemplating or just entering the learning experience design profession and learning professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge of theory and implementation practice.”