XLab: Agile: Interdisciplinary Experiential Learning

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Location: Virtual
Experience live: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite

Participate and share : Poster

Nina Bellisio  
Dr. Robert Vermilyer  
Makendy Midouin  
Taulant Xhakli  
Dr. Pam Derfus  

XLab is an experiential project-based course that relies on agile development methodologies to enable learning and the application of knowledge. Students from a variety of programs apply their specific areas of interest, knowledge and experience to the creation of a significant virtual reality industry-strength product.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Augmented, mixed & virtual reality
Grade level: Community college/university
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

In Xlab, faculty members serve as subject area experts who will provide materials and support to students to facilitate just-in-time learning that is applicable to the task(s) at hand during each sprint within the project. Students select the theme of the project and its application and work throughout the semester to complete a prototype. Examples include a VR simulation of the effects of extreme weather conditions, specifically the effect of storm surges on the Philadelphia metro area, and a VR time-travel narrative allowing the player to enter events in and around World War II. The class is unique in that it utilizes the Agile/ Scrum methodology used in design and computer science and gives students true ownership and agency over their learning within the course. For this poster session, we will describe these prototype and the educational model presented in this course structure. Viewers will also be able to enter the VR environments created by the XLab students. (we will bring the necessary technology)

Supporting research

A Numerical Simulation of Extratropical Storm Surge and Hydrodynamic Response in the Bohai Sea Yumei Ding and Lei Ding

Predicting Climate Change Using Response Theory:
Global Averages and Spatial Patterns Valerio Lucarini, Francesco Ragone, Frank Lunkeit

The Scrum Guide:The Definitive Guide to Scrum:The Rules of the Game

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Nina Bellisio, St. Thomas Aquinas College

Nina Bellisio is a Professor of Visual Communications at St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York. In her multiple roles at St. Thomas Aquinas College: Faculty Member, Department Coordinator, and Assistant Dean of Curricular Innovation and Evaluation, she works to integrate technology into learning and to incorporate design thinking practices into interdisciplinary curriculum. Nina holds a BFA from Cornell University and an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently a doctoral student of Creative Technologies at Columbia University Teachers College where her area of research is gender bias in the designed environment.

Dr. Robert Vermilyer, St. Thomas Aquinas College

Dr. Vermilyer is an enthusiastic teacher who has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate level Computer Science courses, including Computer Graphics, Animation, 3D Modeling, Gaming, Human Computer Interaction, Robotics, Networks, Operating Systems, Analysis of Algorithms and Computational Thinking. In addition, Dr. Vermilyer is a passionate and productive researcher. His current research focuses on creating educational XR experiences, conceptualizing XR interfaces, and the design of tools and user-interactions used for various types of image and video related tasks.

Makendy Midouin, St. Thomas Aquinas College
Taulant Xhakli, St. Thomas Aquinas College
Dr. Pam Derfus, St. Thomas Aquinas College

Pamela Derfus is an Associate Professor of Management at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York. Fascinated with the nexus of management, education, and technology, she is seeking innovative ways to help students acquire the knowledge and skills that will propel their, and all of our, futures at work.