âThe online studio’s functionality went beyond workspaces and contained some fun extra details. It was really appreciated by my classmates and I, and I think these extra details really helped the virtual studio to feel as similar as possible to our studio in person, “she continued.
The studio offices included whiteboard software that allowed students to upload files and use drawing tools on their designs. Another important element was a Zoom link to each instructor’s meeting room, allowing students to easily access professors as needed. Due to the nature of the course, which included detailed instructor commentary for complex building designs, the whiteboard and office space zoom functions were essential for students to learn from their peers.
âWe incorporated some features that allowed us to have a more traditional, albeit digital, version of the studio, bulletin boards, and office spaces that students could use so they could see other people’s work. , which was a big complaint they had about using Zoom and Canvas. They just couldn’t learn from each other [in those platforms]said Flohr.
The studio’s boardroom function consisted of links to synchronous Zoom conferences, past conferences, software tutorials, and other course materials. This information was found in one space, making it easier for students to access all the resources needed for the course.
Pin-up spaces were used for group reviews using concept boards to facilitate discussions, instructor and peer feedback, commentary and presentations. The lounge feature included links to watch parties from the streaming service and music and food delivery services.
âEach of us had our own concept board space, but it was accessible to everyone, much like our offices in our studio in person. This feature provided us with a space to store all of our work and a way to stay organized, but also a place where we could ask questions, make suggestions and collaborate virtually, âsaid Bair. “Without this feature, I think my online learning experience would have been a lot less successful.”
Flohr led a research project to measure the studio’s effectiveness on student learning and peer engagement. The results of the survey revealed that the virtual reality studio created a better peer-to-peer learning environment than Zoom and also helped students better understand the concepts.
âThe students really credited the way the virtual studio was set up so that it allowed them to constantly go back and review our interactions with their work throughout the semester,â said Flohr.
Flohr was recognized for his studio development work at the 2021 Annual International Digital Landscape Architecture Conference in May. The theme, which was âHybrid Landscapes,â focused on how landscape architecture education has adapted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flohr also made a presentation on the virtual studio at the conference and attributes his recognition to effective collaboration with faculty.