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Mixed reality refers to the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.
MiRTLE is a “mixed reality teaching and learning environment” that enables teachers and students to participate in real-time mixed and online classes to interact with avatar representations of each other. The objective of MiRTLE is to provide a mixed-reality environment for a combination of local and remote students in a traditional instructive higher education setting.
By adding 25 seats to 100 existing classrooms we could accommodate thousands more learners. We can do this quickly, without physical construction, without changing schedules, and at moderate cost by adding virtual seats to existing classrooms. TAC proposes that MiRTLE be installed as a pilot instance as an attempt at a mixed reality solution to classroom crowding. An appropriate pilot course for testing it could be a ALS199 U-engage course.
Virtually present learners and physical learners will be able to interact with one another and with the physical instructor. We believe that some students will prefer the virtual course presence and opt to attend as such. If this pilot is successful and the project expands, it will be optimum to apply the mixed reality approach to courses that typically have wait lists. A department may offer wait-listed students the option to attend via the virtual classroom. The result will be less wait-listed students and higher rates of degree progress through required courses.