Meet DELTA Faculty Fellow Kyle Bunds
Bunds began his professional teaching career at Florida State University in 2011. His degrees include a Doctorate in Sports Management from Florida State University in Sport, Health and Equitable Development, as well as a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Oklahoma. He joined the NC State community in 2014.
As a DELTA Faculty Fellow, he will focus on the university-wide “VR in a Box” project, which organizes case studies, technologies and resources to assist faculty, staff and students in finding the technology best suited for their learning objectives. These resources will be available on a website that will be launched in the near future.
While Bunds work is centered around instructional technology, he has always had a strong connection with his students. His approach has changed a bit over the years, but his genuine desire to foster student wellness and success remains constant.
“I started my teaching career when I was only 25, and I connected with students by being a laid back, cool professor at that time in my life. But things changed as I became older, became a father, and all of the life experiences that happen over time,” Bunds said. “I still prioritize connection, but now my caring about my students means seeing them as humans and meeting them where they are in their learning journey. For me, that means being a mentor, leveraging my expertise, bringing in content experts and utilizing immersive education technologies that engage students through familiar technologies and in ways that they most effectively learn.”
Acquired Teaching Methodologies
Bunds first partnered with DELTA when time and budget constraints limited his students’ exposure to different sporting facilities. He felt it was imperative to provide realistic tours of the many facets of the arenas to get the real world experience needed for students who wanted to pursue a career in sports management.
“We can’t afford to always take students to different facilities, and you can’t always teach during an event day,” Bunds said. “So, I created my own VR tours of some facilities — both during sport events and when the venues were empty. Then, with the help of DELTA experts, we created VR tours of the PNC Arena with the help of the PNC staff. One of the VR tours even showcased some ticket booth training experiences. From there, I’ve gone on to create more experiences, and I am now engaged in multiple studies and teaching experiences using VR/AR technologies.”
Although the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative effect on many people, Bunds considered it a positive catalyst on his teaching methodologies. Because he could no longer bring experts into his classroom, he used Zoom live on location in different arenas. In addition, using live feeds instead of recorded interviews, his students can interact with experts in their respective professional settings. He continues to use these approaches successfully today.
Bunds credits working with DELTA’s Director of Digital Media Innovation Mike Cuales and Professor Michael Kanters for encouraging him to become more involved with campus-wide endeavors. He said they motivated him to dedicate more of his time helping others on campus.
“I think my wholehearted desire to create resources for campus is driven by improving wellness. I served as co-chair for the Programs and Services Subcommittee of the Wellness Advisory Committee,” Bunds said. “I have struggled with wellness throughout my life and at times while here at NC State. I’m dedicated to talking about it and being a resource to others who might need support.”
Bunds biggest takeaway from his teaching experiences is the importance of being open-minded to change even during the most challenging times. In addition, he said we need to positively interact and support each other by dedicating our time to causes and programs we feel strongly about.
Interested in sharing your knowledge and learning from other instructors? Apply for DELTA’s Faculty Fellow program! Applications will be accepted beginning April 3, 2023 as part of this year’s DELTA Grants cycle.