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Research at St Andrews

An immersive platform for collaborative projects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution



Lisa Dow, Anne Campbell, Alan Henry David Miller, John Philip McCaffery, Iain Angus Oliver, Christopher John Davies, Sarah Elizabeth Kennedy, Colin Allison

School/Research organisations


In the recent past 3D and immersive technologies were not supported by standard business and educational computers. Yet new generations of Intel and AMD processors and improved networking provide a basis for the spread of immersive technologies, into all aspects of education, business and leisure. Consequently, it is critical that computer science and IT degree programs facilitate the graduation of professionals with an understanding of and experience in working with immersive technologies. The work reported in this paper addresses the need to support learning about how to develop, engineer, use and evaluate 3D and immersive systems.

The Apollo Virtual World GRID [1] provides a platform designed to support collaborative learning and exploratory project work with 3D technologies. Apollo provides an environment for the creation of 3D content, a framework for the development of 3D systems and a platform for the delivery of distributed immersive systems. It is built around the open source and freely available OpenSimulator project and extends it by providing educational content, a rapid application development environment and a measurement infrastructure.

Using the Apollo GRID student projects have expanded the scope of experiential learning by creating interactive 3D environments that simulate specific learning contexts. For example a Virtual WiFi laboratory supports exploratory learning and experimentation with WiFi network protocols and the LAVA virtual fieldwork resource supports archaeologists in learning how to manage archaeological excavations. This paper reflects upon experience in using Apollo for 30 collaborative projects involving more than 100 students over a period of four years.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationOpening Doors to Innovation and Internationalization in Engineering Education
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781479939237
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2014
Event2014 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) - Melia Castilla Hotel & Convention Center, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 22 Oct 201425 Oct 2014


Conference2014 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)
Internet address

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ID: 181308046