Graduate Seminar: Beyond Reality: Crafting the Future of Workforce Training with AI-Driven Immersive Storytelling

Thursday, February 08, 2024
Event Time 01:00 p.m. - 02:00 p.m. PT
Location ZOOM
Contact Email



The vocational training landscape is experiencing a technological transformation, driven by Extended Reality (XR) systems like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), which significantly enhance memory and learning. Storytelling, a time-honored knowledge transfer method, proves effective in this context. This research presents the innovative Vocational Immersive Storytelling Training and Assessment System (VISTAS) Framework, merging immersive technologies with storytelling and introducing the concept of 'Storyfication' – the fusion of storytelling and gamification – to redefine workforce training. VISTAS harnesses AR's immersive potential to create personalized learning environments, enhancing efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness while promoting job readiness. By integrating narratives into virtual manufacturing simulations, VISTAS bridges the gap between theory and practice, improving memory retention. The framework adapts training in real-time based on learner performance, ensuring a tailored experience. Extensive user studies demonstrate VISTAS' superiority in task performance, memory retention, and user satisfaction compared to traditional methods. VISTAS sets a new standard for workforce development, advancing training methodologies and promoting inclusivity in skill development.

Speaker Biography

Sanika Doolani is the Head of Product at Edstutia, a VR training and learning company. Previously, she worked as a Product (UX) Designer at Salesforce. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in 2021, receiving the Schuchman Outstanding Doctoral Candidate award for her work on vocational immersive storytelling training. With a background in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai and a Master of Science in Computer Science from UTA, she has received numerous accolades, including the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award and the NSF-funded PETRA Conference Doctoral Consortium Award. Dr. Doolani's research focuses on Human-Computer Interaction, Immersive Realities (VR/AR/MR), AI, and Storytelling to enhance learning. She advocates for women in computer science and has practical experience, including an internship at The Walt Disney Company, where she developed AR apps, notably Toy Story 4 AR App. Her entrepreneurial spirit is evident through her success in securing development funds, showcasing her innovation and business acumen.

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