Immersive tech project secures HK$14m in funding

Michael Gibb

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A cutting-edge project on collaborative learning through immersive visualisation developed by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and four partner universities has received close to HK$14 million in funding, among which HK$9.7 million is from the University Grants Committee (UGC).
 
The Collaborative Learning through Immersion Project (CLIP) enables students to visualise and interact with real and virtual places at a high level of realism through 3D and 2D graphical representations.
 
“CLIP will take students on a learning journey to places that otherwise would be too far, too distant in time or too dangerous to reach, by using immersive 2D and 3D visualisation,” said project coordinator Professor Christian Wagner of CityU’s Office of the Provost.
 
The aim is to develop software-generated media for 3,000 students studying on 20 or more courses at CityU and its partners—The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, as well as the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia—over the next three years.
 
The learning objects will be tailored to meet the pedagogical needs of course coordinators and curriculum designers at the partner institutions for courses ranging from engineering to cultural heritage and business studies.
 
The idea behind CLIP is that students will be able to learn more effectively by visualising problems, places and people, and interacting with them in innovative ways.
 
“The resulting next-generation classrooms will develop students’ problem solving and lateral thinking skills and provide settings for discovery and innovation,” explained Professor Jeffrey Shaw, Dean of CityU’s School of Creative Media (SCM) and the lead principal investigator on the project.
 
The other two principal investigators are Professor Tsui Kwok-leung, Head of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at CityU, and Professor Sarah Kenderdine of the iCinema Research Centre at UNSW.
 
Underlying the CLIP design is the understanding that learning is embedded in doing; unlike traditional forms of learning associated with task and content analysis, the structuring of this immersive learning paradigm is focused on discovery through engagement.
 
“In immersive visualisation, students are not merely onlookers but actors within an information space, where they actively influence the outcomes,” Professor Shaw added.
 

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