Virtual Environment Lab | Curriculum and Instruction | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

student and teacher using virtual environment lab

Virtual Environment Lab


Created in October 2009, the Virtual Environment Lab (V-Lab) is a joint research space created by the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction of Southern Illinois University through the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grant.


When you step into the darkened Virtual Environment Lab (V-Lab), the first thing that draws your attention is the gigantic 72-inch high-definition television! While the size of the HDTV may be impressive, students are even more impressed when they put on the 3-D (stereoscopic) shutter glasses, which make the HDTV screen come to life!

“The HDTV is just a ‘window’ to the virtual world,” shares V-Lab Director and SIU professor, Dr. Christian Loh. “For one moment, you step into another reality.”

Using these types of technologies, students are suddenly transported to another place – one where you are no longer on this side of reality. Students are instantly transported into an immersive 3-D virtual world… and nothing can fully prepare a person for what it feels like.

Not only will students experience the sensation of walking and running in a strange yet familiar world… but they can also explore their surroundings and even engage enemies in hand-to-hand combat! Inside the V-Lab, students will experience a collision of two worlds - the real world and the virtual world.