Torrens University's virtual fashion studio wins 3rd award in 2022

2022 ASCILITE innovation category award

Torrens University’s innovative extended reality virtual fashion studio has won another award – this time taking out a 2022 ASCILITE award in the innovation category.

It is the third award Torrens University has won in 2022 for the unique learning tool that transports students inside a virtual fashion studio and teaches them about the operations, activities, tools, and equipment used in the industry.

Eoghan Hogan, Director of Product Innovation at Torrens University, said the award reflects the university’s commitment to shaping the future of higher education.

“It’s part of our vision of delivering education without borders, allowing students, regardless of where they are in the world to build the skills, experience, and confidence they need to take into a design studio,” said Mr Hogan.

“Using immersive extended reality gaming technology, the virtual design studio, which was created for the Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design, allows students to engage in authentic, simulated activities that typically occur in real-world fashion studios.”

Acceleration of digital innovation in the fashion industry

 Russell Ponting is the Program Director, Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design and Bachelor of Fashion Marketing and Enterprise at Torrens University. He said the COVID pandemic had accelerated digital innovation in the fashion industry, and the virtual design studio reflected this.

“Many of our students are exploring digital fashion as not only a representational visual tool but also in areas such as brand positioning and the potential for digitisation to contribute to the sustainability question,” he said.

“Embedding technology innovation in the curriculum is important as students enter this increasingly networked and virtual world.”

Nikki Donald is a Senior Learning Experience Designer who was involved in the concept creation of the studio. She said the simulated learning space, which has been available to students since the beginning of 2022, was yielding positive results for staff and students.

“A student with ADHD reported that being able to have control over how she engaged with the content and performed tasks in the virtual studio had a positive impact on her learning experience,” said Nikki.

“The Learning Facilitator described the ease with which she can demonstrate activities, and we are seeing anecdotal evidence that students are more engaged in the course content which is leading to higher rates of assignment submission.”


Virtual learning shaping the future of higher education 

The Branded Fashion Virtual Design Studio is the second virtual learning environment created by the Product Innovation team at Torrens University, with students at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School able to complete parts of their training in a virtual reality hotel that simulates both front and back-of-house operations.

“We are breaking away from outdated curriculum and responding to industry needs. We believe XR is the beginning of this change as we strive to elevate the individual student learning experience,” said Mr Hogan.


ASCILITE is a globally recognised and professionally connected community of professionals and academics working in fields associated with enhancing learning and teaching through the pedagogical use of technologies. We seek to shape the future of tertiary education in relation to technology-enhanced learning by enabling and sharing high-quality research, innovation and evidence-based technology-enhanced practices.

ASCILITE Innovation Award

The ASCILITE Innovation Award was introduced in 2011 as the “Innovation & Excellence” award.  It celebrates work undertaken by an individual or team of people in support of the exemplary and research-informed use of technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education. Innovation is defined as a new idea, device or process. It is something original that “breaks into” teaching and learning in the tertiary sector.

Check our Branded Fashion Design Courses to learn more
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