Fall 2007 Final Exam

This final exam is a 'take home' exam. You are expected to work on it completely by yourself. It is due at 3:00pm on 12/12/07. By that time you should have set up a web page with your solution, and emailed the location of that web page to Andy. During the scheduled final exam time we will meet in class and you will have 6 minutes to briefly describe your solution to the class. We wont have time for a question / answer period; this way we can get through everyone within two hours. Any published books, papers, videos, or web-based materials may be consoluted. This final is designed to have you think about all of the things we have talked about, read about, and worked on in class to solve a problem. The problem is this:

You are approached by the curator of the LearnALot Museum who wants to use virtual reality as part of a new exhibit. She would like you to make a proposal to show how this would work. We will assume that the available hardware is basically the same as the C-Wall in the classroom, except that the tracking always works, so you have the single pair of tracked passive glasses, the wand, the extra two sensors, the extra passive glasses, and the sound system. You will have four meters / yards in front of the screen that will be open space. You can assume you will have the same tools available to create the virtual world, but a longer timeframe (say 6 months, and a crew of 4 people.)

You will design an immersive environment to help museum patrons learn about an historical or pre-historical period. The historical event/period that you choose should be at least be 30 years old, and preferably a lot older than that. Your exhibit should be historically accurate, based on current generally accepted scientific and historical records, and you should be able to cite scientific or historical references for your work.

The environment should be educational - that is, the user should learn something from the experience, and the experience itself should obviously benefit from being experienced in VR. The environment should be designed to fit within a museum setting and give the user a 15 minute experience. It should be entertaining. It should be highly interactive. Do not forget the importance of audio. You can assume that the museum will have someone standing by the display to help people with the equipment, but your application should help the user understand how to use the application quickly.

You should assume that visitors will be in small groups of 3 to 5 people. The visitors will be of various ages but you can target your application to teenagers and adults. Think about spoken / written language issues - all of the museum patrons may not speak the same first language.

You should describe the experience of the users in detail with regards to the visuals and the sounds, and especially in terms of interaction. Drawings, diagrams, and storyboards will be very useful here.

Your write-up should be well thought out and organized ... in English please, so I don't need to use altavista's babelfish to translate your answer. You get a week to do this, so it should not be a stream of consciousness answer. I would suggest thinking about it for a while first, then chose a topic that interests you or a topic that you know something about. Confirm the topic via email with Andy. Make some sketches, write some notes, then organize them. Do a first draft, let it sit for a day or two, then come back and read it critically looking for holes that you need to fill. The various second projects that were presented are good models in terms of the length of the experience and the complexity of the world that you should be thinking of.

One common question is how long should this be, and thatís a hard one to answer. You are not graded on quantity. You are graded on quality and comprehensiveness but also succinctness. Quality vs Quantity looks like a bell curve in this case. I would think something about the size of a typical research paper would be about right, including images. Organization is very important. Make sure you have labelled sections.

During your 6 minute presentation to the class you should briefly describe the historical environment that you want to immerse the user in, what the environment will consist of, what the user will do in that environment, and why you believe immersive VR will be beneficial here.

last revision 11/1/14