HKU Engineering imseCAVE VR technology zooms into interactive teaching and learning

The Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) of the Faculty of Engineering has deployed an innovative interactive platform based on internet technology and virtual reality (VR) to deliver online teaching and learning.

The platform is a mixed use of the online video communication platform Zoom (www.zoom.us) and the imseCAVE VR technology (www.hactis.com) based on research and development from HKU researchers at the Department of IMSE with support from the Innovation and Technology Commission and Industrial collaborators.

Professors and teaching assistants can deliver course materials and multimedia contents, such as videos, 3D-images and VR scenarios, by using imseCAVE, various software and white board simultaneously. While professors are going through the presentation, students can use real-time tele-text applications to post their questions and obtain real-time responses from professors and fellow classmates.

Dr Henry Lau, Associate Dean of Engineering (Innovation), said, “Students have actively participated in the online cyber-classroom, with many more Q&A discussion sessions going on with over 80% participation rate.”

Professor Christopher Chao, Dean of HKU Engineering, is impressed by the overwhelming support from students. He said, “This initiative enhances the student engagement in the online classroom, and pretty much pave the way for an effective interactive online teaching and learning paradigm. We hope this platform can be popularised among other departments and faculties in the future.”

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