Art, language courses get an XR boost


Central students and faculty keep finding exciting ways to use the university’s XR Lab to engage students and reinforce course material. Beyond its role in science and engineering coursework, the XR Lab has plenty to offer students in liberal arts majors.

When Dr. Maria Lourdes Casas was looking for a way for her Spanish-language students to practice conversational skills, she reached out to XR Lab Manager Kris Bickell. Using VirtualSpeech — an app that brings users into virtual rooms where they can practice various public speaking scenarios — Casas and Bickell used an Artificial Intelligence prompt to set up the various situations, and an avatar asked students selected questions. Recordings of the conversations enabled 

Casas evaluated her students’ progress by listening to the VirtualSpeech recordings of their conversations.

Art & Design professor Craig Frederick employed another XR Lab app, Gravity Sketch, to create and print 3D models with his class. After students saved their files, Frederick used a 3D printer to print their sculptures.  His sculpture is pictured below.

Central will introduce a new minor in the application of Artificial Intelligence this fall.