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JAM students are getting their first taste of virtual reality in David Stephenson’s new VR Storytelling class. MAS and Journalism students have participated in demonstrations with the HTC Vive VR headset and experienced augmented reality (AR) with the brand new Hololens during a tour at the Computer Science’s Visualization Center. The class will also participate in a live webcast with the head of VR and VR photojournalist Jack Gruber at USAToday before they begin to tackle producing their own 360-degree videos. Using consumer-level 360-degree cameras, students will spend much of the semester planning and producing their own 360 videos for use in Google Cardboard viewers.

MAS 390/JOU 497 Course description: Students in the VR Storytelling class will research, analyze, and produce multimedia content for the virtual reality, augmented reality and 360-degree platforms with a primary focus on storytelling. They will be introduced to emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality headsets, 360-degree video cameras, VR publishing platforms and other technologies that are on the horizon. We will be watching and critiquing various storytelling techniques used by publishers in journalism, gaming and non-fiction in order to understand how we will produce our own stories using immersive environments.