In 2017, Hamilton College’s Library & Information Technology Services (LITS), and in particular the Research and Instructional Design Team (R&ID),  participated  in the Building the Campus of the Future: 3D Technologies in Academe EDUCAUSE/HP research project. With an international set of leading institutions, including Brown University, Case Western University, Dartmouth College, Duke Medical School, Florida International University, Galludet University, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Lehigh University, MIT, Princeton, Stanford University Design School, Syracuse University Newhouse, Glasgow School of Art, University of San Diego, and Yale University, Hamilton College’s involvement in this research project resulted in the R&ID Team being seen as a leader in digital innovations in higher education.

According to 2018 EDUCAUSE report, this initiative sought to identify the pedagogically innovative digital modalities that resulted in significant improvements in the areas of learning and research outcomes, collaborative research,  and student engagement . Among the criteria for this research project were:

  • To utilize the provided technology (which includes an HP Sprout Pro G2, HP zWorkstation, HP DreamColor Studio Display, HTC VIVE, HP 3D Structured Light Scanner ProS3, HP Automatic Turntable, and Dremel 3D40) to conduct an active exploration of 3D technologies
  • To include support staff (either instructional designer(s) or staff from the campus center for teaching and learning) to assist with the exploration;
  • To include graduate and/or undergraduate students in the exploration;
  • To compose a research report, due spring 2018;
  • To participate in three to four project conference calls to share ideas, confer, and to coordinate on the project;
  • (optional) To participate in EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2018 meeting and the annual EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in 2018.

With an enrollment of 1,850 students and a student-faculty ratio of 9-1, and the R&ID Team’s dedicated mission to “empower the Hamilton community to use information and technologies to engage in intellectual exploration, make informed decisions, and create and share knowledge, Hamilton College was an ideal environment to explore the use of 3D technologies within the small liberal arts context. 

The R&ID Team saw this HP EDUCAUSE  research project as a unique opportunity to experiment with 3D technologies throughout the liberal arts curriculum. Equally, the HP EDUCAUSE research project generated new types of faculty engagement and collaboration with the R&ID Team that centered on innovative pedagogical approaches that directly influenced how  students learn and thrive in this digital era of the 21st century. 

Today in 2019, Hamilton College is ever more dedicated to student learning and fluencies across the disciplines, and in particular to enabling students to understand, communicate, and work effectively in an increasingly digital world.  In many ways, HP EDUCAUSE vision of a “Campus of the Future” is already here and now at Hamilton College with its visionary “Digital Hamilton” initiatives campus-wide. The R&ID Team hopes that our active participation in this project, as well as these inspired 3D technology-focused projects, inspires faculty and students throughout the world to explore the digital dimension of teaching , learning, and research within a liberal arts framework. We invite you to peruse these wonderfully innovative 3D projects and see how Hamilton College’s faculty and students alike have transformed the classroom space, and thus enhanced the where, how, and when of learning and knowledge through digital innovations.

A special thanks to everyone at The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) for selecting Hamilton for this project, and in particular Gus Schmedlen, Vice President, HP Worldwide Education, for supporting our efforts!