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XR Learning Resources: Welcome

A LibGuide about the XR room and XR technology in the Archer Library.


Welcome to our LibGuide for Archer Library's AR, VR, and XR Learning Resources! We created this guide to inform, educate, and encourage the use of XR technologies at Ashland University.

It is our hope that the more familiar individuals become with new technology, the greater chance that they would incorporate new technology into a classroom setting to stretch student understanding of a topic.

Don't worry if this is your first time hearing about XR, take some time to explore this LibGuide and learn about this exciting new offering we have available here at Ashland University's Archer Library!

What is XR?

The term XR is an abbreviation for Extended Reality, and encompasses the technologies of Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and Virtual Reality. The difference between these three terms is related to the level of user immersion with the technology.


AR - Augmented Reality has a low level of immersion, where the user is still mostly experiencing the real world, with some virtual elements added via technology. This appears in many phone apps, and examples include Instagram filters or Pokemon Go.


MR - Mixed Reality has a slightly higher level of immersion, allowing the user to interact and manipulate virtual elements while still remaining present in the physical world. Some recent examples of this are mixed-reality based training for companies like DHL, Xerox, or IBM, biology and medical apps where users can see and interact with 3D interactive models of organs to understand how they function, and the HoloLens 2 headsets we are using here at Ashland University.


VR - Virtual Reality provides a complete level of immersion, in which the user experiences an entire virtual world through a headset and hand controllers, can interact with and manipulate objects within the virtual world, and users have their own unique virtual avatar. This is what Meta Quest VR headsets would be considered.


Why XR?

XR has many educational benefits to extend and enhance learning, including:

  • XR improves knowledge transfer and retention by providing students a way to interact with class content by actively experiencing information instead of passively receiving it.
  • XR can work well for collaborative environments such as project or problem based learning, supplement a traditional curriculum or textbook, and can provide an unprecedented experience in particular fields such as health care. Imagine a student being able to practice a surgery in a virtual environment before being expected to perform the real thing!
  • XR technologies may also place students in situations that can foster empathy via experiences unfamiliar to them. For example, students may virtually experience what it is like to live as a person experiencing homelessness, or could experience a virtual simulation of what it may be like to visit a grocery store as a person experiencing dementia. 
  • XR also provides students and faculty alternative ways to connect. Anyone with a headset can jump into a virtual meeting space and use apps to talk, exchange files, and collaborate on projects together despite being cities, states, or countries apart.


XR at Ashland University

The creation of the XR room in the Archer Library was made possible through funding provide by a LSTA grant. The planning and implementation of the room was coordinated via collaboration between Diane Schrecker and Ashland University's CITE team (Elise Riggle, Chuck Piscitello, Katy Major, and David Grimes).

Continued use of the room is managed via collaboration between Diane Schrecker, the CITE team, and Daniel O'Brien.

Electronic Resources & User Services Librarian

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Daniel O'Brien
Electronic Resources Librarian
Office: 174 Archer Library
Ashland University
509 College Ave
Ashland, OH 44805

ATS Library
User Services Librarian
419- 289-5146

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