Virtual Conference CFP
Beyond Zoom: Promise and Reality of XR

Submission Deadline: March 15, 2021
Conference Date: April 15-16, 2021

Keynote April 15 by Dr. Samantha Gorman

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This conference is a sequel to last year’s “Beyond Zoom: XR For Teaching and Research in the COVID-19 Era,” which highlighted the role of XR in remote teaching, learning and research contexts. In this follow-up conference we are seeking speakers to present their work in the context of the future promise and current reality of XR, particularly in response to changing world events like COVID, social polarization, and erosion of trust in scientific research and communication. Like many new technologies, XR is often spoken about as either a panacea for or contributor to any number of challenges in higher education. We would like to hear about your expectations when you began a project, your experiences using building and using XR thus far, and where you think we can go next based on what you’ve learned.

We welcome proposals for brief (5-minute) lightning talks showing off existing or developing XR projects in any discipline as well as institutional initiatives built around XR. These brief presentations will be organized into sessions that seed generative discussions as part of a two-day event.

  • Retrospectives of recent teaching and research projects along with prospective looks at next steps
  • How XR can–and can’t–explore issues of institutional racism, social justice, and agency
  • How virtual worldbuilding can demonstrate differences in perception among those with varying physical, cognitive, or sensory conditions
  • When XR can be used to effectively disseminate ideas and concepts (to the public or to students) that are not easily conveyed in other media
  • Data privacy issues for students, research subjects, and the general public
  • XR in the academy vs. XR in the consumer space, particularly with commodified hardware and software ecosystems
  • Research into XR’s role in promoting empathy for the ‘other’
  • Explorations of XR’s digital divide and how to bridge it in higher ed
  • Discussions of tools that can democratize access to XR for creators and distributors
  • Use of XR spaces for collaboration among researchers, students, or others


  • Dartmouth College:
    • Information, Technology, and Consulting
    • The Neukom Institute
    • Film and Media Studies
  • University of Pennsylvania:
    • Online Learning Initiative
    • Cinema and Media Studies

This conference is sponsored by Dartmouth ITC and the University of Pennsylvania Online Learning Initiative.