Building the university
of the future

As we develop new ways our students can learn, we are aligning our university with the future of work — where bleeding-edge technology powers collaborative and connected spaces.

HoloUniversity will help them get there. We are creating the mixed reality classroom of the future, where 3-D digital content is seamlessly integrated into the teaching and learning environment. Instructors will be fluent in the application and best practices of mixed reality as a teaching tool, and will receive support in the design, build, and execution of their courses from a team of experts on staff.  


"Teaching with HoloLens was life transforming. It will be very, very hard for me to make do with traditional media, when teaching about buildings. We are at a moment where we are at the cusp of the democratization of art, and this technology enables us to share monuments of cultural heritage from around the world and have the experience be as genuine as seeing the original."


Professor of Art History, CWRU

Professor Bolman, the chair of CWRU's Art History Department, was one of the first people in thousands of years to lay eyes upon the painted interior walls of the Red Monastery in Egypt. She led the effort to restore the 5th Century Coptic masterpiece, and then digitally preserved it. We were thrilled to host our first HoloUniversity class with Professor Bolman at the helm.

of learning

Connected. Accessible. Fast. Seamless. Physical. Interdisciplinary. Empathetic. Exploratory. Visual.

HoloUniversity is a Provost-sponsored initiative, which will provide HoloLens access and development support through two lanes — a dedicated classroom with HoloLens devices and tech support that can be booked for any class, and the IC Fellow Cohort that will guide instructors through the process of creating a class using mixed reality.

Our goal — 100% of CWRU students to experience innovative and excellent mixed reality educational programming by 2030.

Collaboration Commons is the new digital suite at the Kelvin Smith Library, which is fully equipped with a fleet of HoloLens devices, preloaded with available course content (e.g., the HoloAnatomy® Software Suite, Red Monastery) and on-site tech support.

IC Fellow

We are looking to our brilliant and diverse community for the next big idea in mixed reality for higher education. This is round one - we're just getting started.

The IC Fellow Cohort is designed for instructors who want to build their own mixed reality apps to use in class, under the mentorship of the IC and TLT. The group will meet weekly for lunch, and will cover the transition to teaching in 3-D, the basics of the art and development process, storyboarding for MR, and more. Over the multi-week program (Oct. - Jan.), IC Fellows will create individual mixed reality class plans, ideally to be fully developed the following semester.

There is no fee to participate, and this first cohort will be limited to ten members. Instructors from all fields are encouraged to apply. 

Mixed reality can be an effective tool in both the humanties and sciences. The IC has developed applications for classics, dance, art history, physics, anatomy, crystallography, and more. Check out our projects page to see what else we've done.

Grow your

Want to join the IC Fellows? Before you apply, here are some thoughts on how to make a great class in mixed reality.

  • Introductions: HoloLens and mixed reality

Mixed reality: the integration of digital content superimposed onto our real-world environment as holograms. Users continue to see the people and the room around them, the 3-D object(s), and remotely-connected users.

Microsoft's HoloLens: a standalone holographic computer that users wear on their heads to experience 3-D content. The IC is Microsoft's premier partner for developing mixed reality applications for higher education.

  • What makes a great idea for a mixed reality class experience?

First, it's important to play to the technology's strengths. One of the most impactful features of mixed reality is its capacity to show the invisible (e.g., the structure of an atom, the subterranean environment of the Earth, or a building located thousands of miles away.)


Professor Mike Martens using mixed reality to teach electromagnetism.

Second, it's important for mixed reality classes to be shared experiences, where everyone sees the same thing in the same place at the same time. This allows for active and natural collaboration, discussion, and discovery — just like in a great, traditional learning environment.

daily new partners

Medical students using HoloAnatomy® Software at the CWRU SOM.

Third, this is an Active Learning tool, not a 3-D chalkboard. Mixed reality classes work best when students and instructors are together, standing up and moving around to explore the holograms’ breadth, depth, relationships, and interiors. Chairs should be pushed aside.


Dr. Martin Nweeia's Narwhal exhibit that was featured at the Smithsonian.

To learn more about HoloUniversity and the IC Fellow application process, please join our Introductory Webinar on Sept 27th at noon. Recording will be available after the event.
(Link to event)

We're excited to
hear from you.