View the 2017-2018 PennImmersive Report

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PennImmersive is a Penn Libraries’ initiative to explore the potential of immersive learning and research in higher education and beyond. In the 2018-2019 academic year, we are using an adaptation of the Mixed Reality Continnum1 as a framework to ground our explorations. We believe that focusing our inquiry on types of experiences will prove more useful than on types of technologies.

diagram of mixed reality continuum

1 Adapted from Paul Milgram, Haruo Takemura, Akira Utsumi,& Fumio Kishino. (1995). Augmented reality: a class of displays on the reality-virtuality continuum (Vol. 2351, pp. 2351–11). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1117/12.197321

Learn more about the Mixed Reality Continuum:


that first launched in 2017 in concert with Penn’s Year of Innovation to engage the campus in a year-long, public research project to explore the potential of virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D modeling in teaching, research, and learning. We wanted to critically examine technologies as well as discover existing and potential connections across disciplines as a community.

Learning in the Open

Our intent is to share what we are learning as we go and to create a space for new collaborators (“researchers”) to join us at any point along the way (sign up for the listserv). We are posting our documents, feedback, slides, photos, and videos freely available online.

A one-year initiative turned into a two-year labor of love!

Technologies evolve quickly. While PennImmersive was initially conceived as a one-year initiative, the energy, effort, and collective inquiry will continue through another year. In particular, we are re-framing to focus on the kinds and quality of immersive experiences that can impact and potentially improve learning.

PennImmersive Goals

  1. Share Stories: Document Penn examples and case studies
  2. Build Capacity: Develop skills in immersive storytelling, interaction design, and 3D modeling
  3. Widen the Lens: Include the mixed reality continuum of immersive experiences
  4. Refine a #FutureTech Model: Explore new ways to learn faster, better, smarter together

Small ad-hoc, self-organizing teams of students, faculty, and staff will continue to examine the application of immersive learning and research in academe will share their findings in formal and informal settings. In addition, the Penn Libraries will continue to organize events to provide the Penn community with opportunities to experience immersive learning first-hand to inform ongoing conversations and debates.

We look forward to traveling on this journey with you!