Kamiak Butte VR

Access on: Oculus Browser, Laptop, Mobile Device

Platform used: 3DVista, Maya, Adobe Creative Suite

Background

Kamiak Butte VR is a project that I started in collaboration with a professor as an undergraduate student in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to distance learning. Kamiak Butte VR is an interactive experience that lets students virtually explore and learn about Kamiak Butte County Park in 360°. 

The goal of the project was to provide undergraduate students in a large 300-level course at Washington State University with a virtual field trip during the time of social distancing to substitute the in person field trip. Throughout the experience, users can interact with various forms of media including seasonal change 360° videos, aerial imagery,  wildlife images, field instruction, and plant imagery,.  

For the past two years, the tour has been used by over 400 undergraduate students and is continued to be used in the course curriculum alongside in-person field trips today! 

My decision to start working on this project led me to be awarded the Digital Technology and Culture  Distinguished Scholar in 2020 which inspired me to continue my education at Washington State University to pursue a master’s degree in the College of Education. As I continued my education in my master’s program, I was fortunate to win two technology grants at for my project and raised $44,550 to continue to develop and improve Kamiak Butte VR.

In the past two years, I have worked alongside a multidisciplinary team of professors, undergraduate students, and graduate students to improve various aspects of the project. Furthermore, I continually conducted UI/UX research among the student population in the course to improve the usability of the software. As I come close to finishing my education at WSU, my master’s thesis is focusing on students’ perceptions of hybrid field trips, and the usability of Virtual Reality in undergraduate online courses. 

 

Screen Shots

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