A Case Study in Collaboration, Cross-Disciplinarity, and Mixed Reality Prototyping in Higher Education


The Supercourse brings together students from five different university degree-programs to develop mixed reality prototypes, in collaborative teams, using elements of design thinking and lean startup methodologies. The class exists within the context of a larger university initiative around student-driven entrepreneurship called “Zone Learning”, and in addition to it’s stand-alone goals in mixed-reality technologies, serves as a primer for students to develop their skills in collaboration, practical project definition, production, pitching, documentation, prototyping, and user validation. That class has run for three years, and incorporates undergraduates from Computer Science, New Media, and Media Production degrees, as well as graduate students in Media Production and in Digital Media. Students self-select into teams, research a general topic of interest, develop a problem-statement/pain-point, identify their target users, develop iterative prototypes, create a video-demo, a poster-demo, branding materials, and present their project to industry in a demo-day. Student experience survey results from three years of running the course are presented, with key lessons suggesting the most important focus should be on collaborative/communications skills-development and scheduling, far more than domain-specific mixed reality curricula or "hard" technical skills.

Author Information
Richard Lachman, Ryerson University, Canada
Hossein Rahnama, Ryerson University, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2018
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon