XR: Creating New Realities

(Previously Augmented/Virtual Reality)

The fields of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 360° media development—collectively known as mixed reality—are growing rapidly. Intended for novices, this class puts students on the cutting edge of design and covers a wide range of topics including application development, 360° filming, and more. Students across all majors have access to the latest AR & VR  equipment (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens) and computers, along with 360° cameras, 3D scanners, and UAVs (drones). Student teams develop and deliver meaningful AR/VR/360° applications and experiences to client partners for both PC & mobile devices.

Spring 2021 Class


Neuro Alert logo        

  1. During surgery, specialists monitor the function of a patient’s brain and nerves using techniques such as EEG and EMG to provide feedback to the anesthesiologist and the surgeon, which helps mitigate the risk of damaging the nervous system. This process is called intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring, or IONM. In partnership with Neuro Alert, a leading provider of IONM, AR/VR students will identify and map out biological markers in the brain using augmented technology in order to help technicians more easily determine where to place probes that help guide the surgeon.
  2. Students designed and built a virtual reality tour of JMU’s campus called “Experience JMU 360: A Virtual Tour”. In partnership with the JMU Office of Admissions and University Communications & Marketing, the tour became part of a recruitment exhibit in the newly renovated Madison Hall, and this semester, students will have the opportunity to make key updates to enhance the virtual experience for prospective students and their families.
  3. Students are often pushed towards college pathways when many alternative, well-paying careers exist that do not require a university level of education. This team’s goal was to showcase manufacturing career pathways to students in grades K-12 to give them exposure to, and pique their interest in, jobs they may not understand and allow them to have fun in the process by creating a VR tour of the Shickel factory floor.

Spring 2020 Class


coronavirus icon and the words "COVID-19 pandemic"In response to COVID-19, the AR/VR class pivoted from planned projects to explore how immersive technology could address the impacts of the public health crisis. Several teams developed games and relaxation apps (for VR and desktop users), to address stress caused by social isolation. Another team developed a COVID-19 AR app for better visualizing the risks and transmission of the disease.

Fall 2019 Class

This semester students developed solutions for the following projects:

  1. JMU VR Tour (JMU Admissions) – Enhanced the student-created VR tour by reorganizing content, creating strong user experience design, and involving intuitive usability
  2. Bon Voyage (Center for Global Engagement) – Created a virtual reality experience that captures a day in the life of JMU’s London and Salamanca study abroad experiences to immerse the user into the daily life of a student studying abroad and inspire a desire to travel in all
  3. Gopher – Brought live data and pre-construction models to augmented reality, creating a gateway towards incorporating live data and CAD visualization in AR in more complex ways for architectural designers, contractors and other clients.
  4. MediSim (Communication Sciences and Disorders) – Created a laboratory simulation for online graduate students who are in need of an immersive lab experience

Spring 2019 Class

During this semester, students developed solutions for the following projects:

  1.  Use of mobile devices with augmented reality in the classroom to teach the constituents of chemistry molecules.
  2. Using motion capture to accurately represent dance movements using VR technology with real dancers from the School of Theatre and Dance.
  3. Version 3.0 of the JMU Campus VR Tour in Madison Hall.
  4. Creation of a mobile version of the JMU Campus VR Tour in partnership with the Center for Global Engagement for international student recruiting.

Fall 2017 | Spring 2018 | Fall 2018 Classes

Students from seven different majors designed and built a virtual reality tour of JMU’s campus using the latest technology in 360° media and VR. They incorporated videography, coding and user experience design to develop “Experience JMU 360: A Virtual Tour”. In partnership with the JMU Office of Admissions and University Communications & Marketing, the tour became part of a recruitment exhibit in the newly renovated Madison Hall.

Undergraduate Class Founder

In 2016, Skylar Wolen and his team won an award for designing a virtual reality app during a JMU X-Labs 24-hour hackathon. Envisioning the potential for other students to discover, learn and innovate in new ways, he advocated for additional VR equipment in the lab and offered to conceptualize, develop and organize curriculum for a pilot course. As an undergraduate, Skylar was instrumental in launching the first AR/VR class at JMU.

I learned about JMU X-Labs at Bluestone Hacks when my team won the best application. I saw the potential to develop a new class and wanted to be more involved with what JMU X-Labs was doing. Working on this project, I think I can actually make a difference here at JMU.
– Skylar Wolen, CIS and Finance, Class of 2017

Spring 2022

XR: Creating New Realities (previously Augmented/Virtual Reality)
Open to anyone interested; Especially good for Computer Science, Graphic Design, and SMAD majors
Time and location TBD

Interested in this class?
Fill out the Class Interest Form.

Start looking for opportunities now!

Class Project Websites

Become a
Client Partner

  • Does your organization face local or global challenges in healthcare, education or security?
  • Are you aware of a technology that could transform your industry but you don’t have time to explore it?
  • Does your organization have long–range design problems that you don’t have the resources to solve yourself?
  • What if you could hire graduates who are ready to start working on your top needs from Day One?

Learn how to become a client partner

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