APPaL3D Mission

The mission of the APPaL3D Initiative is to enhance educational and research opportunities for Appalachian State University students, faculty, and interested members of the broader community by:

  • Serving as a medium for research, creative thought and innovative design related to teaching and learning with technology;
  • Providing opportunities for collaboration between ASU faculty and students, and both national and international educational entities interested in research; and
  • Developing effective learning technologies through projects, internships, seminars, workshops and other educational experiences.

APPaL3D Purpose

The purpose of the APPaL3D Initiative is to facilitate the effective use of immersive online environments in learning endeavors of all kinds. As such, the mission of the APPaL3D Initiative is to:

  1. Create, organize, and disseminate a knowledge base around effective uses of immersive online learning environments;
  2. Prepare a new generation of educators and educational leaders for 21st century teaching and learning via relevant professional development and consulting services;
  3. Support the design and development of immersive online learning curriculum and coursework;
  4. Guide the development of models and systems for evaluating teaching and learning within immersive online learning environments; and
  5. Provide a safe, open, public space for learners of all kinds to visit and to experiment with teaching and learning in immersive online learning environments.

Strategies to Fullfill our Mission

Create, organize, and disseminate a knowledge base around effective uses of immersive online learning environments:

  • Identify alternative platforms and tools for ongoing development of 3D environments, small group workspaces, and online communication tools that enhance instruction;
  • Explore ways in which social constructivism informs the design and development of social and immersive learning technologies;
  • Provide a vehicle for scholarship and research into aspects of social and immersive learning technologies on education and training (online learning, learning communities, virtual schooling in K-12, Higher Ed, and industry);
  • Support opportunities to bring international scholars to campus for various periods of time to work with us as we continue exploring the effects of social and immersive technologies on education (visiting scholars, sabbaticals);
  • Sponsor collaborative grant writing efforts;
  • Support the writing and dissemination of research reports and white papers related to teaching, learning and research in social and immersive environments;
  • Identify and manage resources (both print and electronic) related to teaching and learning in 3D environments; and
  • Investigate alternative approaches to distance education.

Prepare a new generation of educators and educational leaders for 21st century teaching and learning via relevant professional development and consulting services:

  • Cooperate/Collaborate with outside entities using online environments for learning (i.e. the North Carolina Virtual Public School);
  • Design/Develop virtual learning environments for schools and universities (courses, programs, environments); and
  • Provide consulting and outreach services both within and outside the University community.

Support the design and development of immersive online learning curriculum, coursework, and services:

  • Provide for faculty development for teaching and learning within the university;
  • Identify ways in which social and immersive environments can be integrated into the academic life of the University;
  • Create opportunities to bring together multiple disciplines from across the university to explore various applications, including but not limited to sociology, admissions, international studies, and communities of practice in other disciplines.

Guide the development of models and systems for evaluating teaching and learning within immersive online learning environments:

  • Explore developing a pedagogy for teaching and learning in 3D environments;
  • Identify and/or develop best practices for teaching and learning in 3D environments; and
  • Provide university, state, national, and international leadership in the ongoing development and use of 3D environments, social pedagogy and research in learning technologies.

Provide a safe, open, public space for learners of all kinds to visit and to experiment with teaching and learning in immersive online learning environments:

  • Provide a development and testing environment for 3D learning tools; and
  • Provide internal grants for the development of 3D learning environments