October 2020

Using Simulation to Support E-Learning

Online learning is here to stay, and the potential is endless when it comes to creating a meaningful, engaging, and accessible experience for students. At BCIT, educators are pushing the envelope with e-learning through the creative use of immersive technologies for a diverse range of subjects. From demonstrating flight dynamics in AR, creating VR medical imaging environments, to exploring shorelines through a 360 VR interactive website, BCIT experts and collaborators are breathing new life into e-learning.


Patrick Pennefather | UBC/Master of Digital Media Program, Assistant Professor

Presentation: Holocopter

The Holocopter project, a collaborative initiative with support from BCIT, SFU, Centre for Digital Media, and UBC, involved the development of an augmented reality software application to demonstrate the flight dynamics of a helicopter rotor head. As part of the Aerospace Maintenance Engineer (AME) program at BCIT, the initiative also involved a research project to study the student learning experience, their conceptual understanding of flight dynamics after using the application, and their insights regarding its usage and effectiveness.

Patrick, co-appointed with UBC Theatre and Film and the Master of Digital Media Program is a designer of interactive experiences, an award-winning sound designer, designer of learning for institutional partners internationally, and supervisor/producer of scalable mixed reality prototypes. 2020-21 highlights: Emerging Media Lab Faculty Residency, i4 Health Conference, SIGGRAPH 2020 Arts Papers Jury & Creative Dev Committee, Leonardo, EdX, Improv Bot, H.I.V.E. @ UBC, small stage. More https://patrickpennefather.com/.

Daniel Block | BCIT Learning Technology Specialist

Presentation: Be the Beam

BCIT is using VR technology to help students to experience a medical imaging environment and learn about radiation physics, medical imaging for two dimensional and three dimensional imaging, engineering of medical imaging equipment, x-ray production, photon energy, electron energy, x-ray image processing, computed and digital radiography, medical imaging accessories, radiation protection and safety, and much more. This project is part of a larger research initiative to assess the efficacy of VR in teaching and learning.

Since 2016, Daniel has worked with programs and faculty at BCIT to incorporate virtual and augmented reality exercises into the classroom to help students visualize complex course material. With colleagues Jennifer Madigan and Francine Anselmo, Daniel is co-developing guidelines for implementing VR/AR in the classroom and performing quantitative research on the efficacy of VR as a teaching tool.

Jennifer Madigan | BCIT Instructional Development Consultant &

Chris Cambon | BCIT Video & Digital Media Producer

Presentation: Assessing Coastal Sustainability Using 360 Degree VR Images

The Green Shores Level 1 course introduces basic environmentally-friendly and sustainable management and development practices for shoreline property owners in marine and freshwater settings. Historically, the course would require participants to travel to islands, such as Savary, Thornmanby, Texada, and Bowen Island, and walk along the shoreline and identify threats and analyze ways for improvement. As an alternative, Dave Harper, the instructor worked with Chris Cambon (BCIT Video and Digital Media Producer) to create a 360 VR interactive website to help facilitate exploration of shorelines, with the hope of reaching a larger audience and spreading Greenshores practices across Canada and North America.

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience as a marketer, instructor and instructional designer. In her previous role, she created and developed online and mobile learning applications. With her colleagues, she is researching the efficacy of virtual reality in teaching and learning in the classroom, while creating a framework to support and guide instructors using VR technology in the classroom.

Chris has over 35 years of experience in the media industry. He works as a video and digital media producer for the LTC, where he and his team create engaging instructional, informational and marketing content in many forms, including 4K Video, photography, audio production, interactive 360 VR videos, and aerial cinematography. As a technology geek, Chris embraces any new platforms for delivering media in a more immersive and creative way.

Moderated by: James Rout | BCIT Associate Vice-President, Education Support and Innovation

James is the executive sponsor for BCIT’s Polytechnic Research Institute for Simulation and Multimedia (PRISM). He has 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, and he serves as a board member of the VR/AR Association (Vancouver). His doctoral research is in the use of augmented and virtual reality simulation technologies to support learning and teaching.