Our Goal 

To create a virtual reality experience that captures a day in the life of JMU’s London and Salamanca study abroad experiences. Using footage from the homestays, classrooms, and notable landmarks we have created a narrative that immerses the user into the daily life of a student studying abroad and we hope to inspire a desire to travel in all.

Purpose 

The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) at James Madison University has many notable study abroad experiences that they offer their students. Currently CGE’s biggest events are their open houses which showcase former student’s experiences and new opportunities that are opening up across the world. We wanted to supplement their current marketing department with immersive technologies that will engage the student base more effectively than pictures, videos and student stories. Bringing all of these together in a virtual space that is easy to use, portable, and cost effective is essential to achieving our goal.

Process

Using footage that was captured on a state of the art 360 camera we stitched together and edited footage from London and Salamanca study abroad experiences. We created the scenery that is unveiled on the Oculus Quest for potential study abroad students. The user interface allows the user to control audio that plays overhead and allows users to skip to scenes that they wish to view. 

This project was created utilizing a user-centered design methodology. We began by engaging with our project sponsor at CGE which identified the major use cases of our potential product. We noticed that our users will often be using this product in large open houses and for most, it will be their first time using a virtual reality application. We ensured the user interface was simple and intuitive to minimize wait times and allow people to move through the tour with ease.

Future

We are so excited to unveil the application and its entirety to CGE. We have demonstrated the success of the application and we are looking forward to improving the design with students throughout future semesters. We see major opportunities for other study abroad experiences and we will be expanding the content to cover all of the major programs.

Team

James Mitchell

Computer Science

Sam Walter

Computer Information Systems

Matt Brown

Media Arts and Design