A Mixed-Method Approach: Virtual Reality to Co-create Future Higher Education Workspaces in a Post COVID-19 Academic Environment

Rendon-Guerrero, Yolanda and Bendall, Amy and Jenkins, Sean and Phelps, Ceri and Bartlett, Garry and Hutchings, Paul B. (2023) A Mixed-Method Approach: Virtual Reality to Co-create Future Higher Education Workspaces in a Post COVID-19 Academic Environment. In: Connectivity and Creativity in times of Conflict. Cumulus Conference Proceedings no.9., April 12-15 2023, Antwerp.

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Abstract

The turmoil caused by COVID-19 saw academics and students in Higher Education (HE) institutions across the UK, and worldwide, facing the sudden and unplanned move to online or blended delivery. It left pre-pandemic operational models in need of evolving, leading to an opportunity to develop and test innovative architectural and spatial programming design strategies for ‘knowledge work’ spaces as academic staff and students returned to campus. The aim of this inter-disciplinary longitudinal study was to evaluate and validate a unique mixed-method approach, which combines extended reality, user experience (UX) and psychological research methodologies with architectural design strategies, to understand how people feel at work; how the environment influences their performance, health and wellbeing; and how to maximise spatial usage. Results were obtained by triangulating data collected from co-creation workshops, an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) survey, and a final usability virtual reality (VR) evaluation. Results imply that there is no ideal layout that would fulfil every user’s needs, instead new strategies need to be developed for workspaces to be redesigned creatively following longer-term usability and healthy architecture standards. This includes the mixed-method approach in this study that successfully creates a link between disciplines and user groups: UX and psychological researchers, architects, estates managers and end-users

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Extended Reality; VR; User Experience; Co-creation Methodologies; Architectural Design.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 14:07
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 09:15
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2409

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