Introducing the Digital Innovation Lab 

Driven by a desire to bring new technology closer to students and staff at Oxford University, we have developed a new Digital Innovation Lab to facilitate innovation and promote experiential learning. 

What is the Digital Innovation Lab? 

The Digital Innovation Lab is a space for experimentation with technology that isn’t readily available in other parts of the University. At the moment, you can try using a wide range of virtual reality (VR) equipment but other technologies will be added over time, driven by the demands of our students and academics. 

The lab also has flexible furniture and an interactive screen to enable collaborative work.  

Currently supported by a virtual team from IT Services, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the OXR Hub, the lab is a space aimed at staff and students to encourage innovation and use of new technologies, and best of all, it’s free to use. 

What do others use the lab for? 

The lab is already proving popular with lots of groups across the University who have been looking into a wide variety of potential uses for the technology:   

  • In March 2022, a collaboration with Wadham College saw eight students of Ancient History exploring virtual reality in the classroom. The aim of the session was to test VR in a university teaching context, and assess the extent that students’ learning experience and understanding of a historical topic can be enhanced by providing fully immersive experiences. After the lecture, the students commented on the educational benefit of virtual reality. 
  • The lab was also the venue for a discovery workshop facilitated by the IT Services Digital Innovation Manager. A Faculty of English professor was introduced to a dozen academics and industry partners who could help her explore next steps for her research project on digital storytelling. 

  • The successful ‘Reading Innovation Technology Showcase’ was hosted using the lab. Led by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), this event demonstrated the latest innovation in devices and interfaces for digital reading. 
  • More recently, with the help of CTL learning technologists, the lab was used by the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) to introduce graduate-entry medicine students to 3D organon virtual reality anatomy software. 

The sky is the limit! Book a time and try this excellent new technology for yourself. 

Booking time in the lab 

For the time being, access to the Digital Innovation Lab is by appointment only. To book your time or find out more about the available technologies you can try, email or contact the IT Services Digital Innovation Manager, Nandy Millan.