Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

EdAR – Educational Apps in Augmented and Mixed Reality

EdAR – Educational Apps in Augmented and Mixed Reality

School:  Engineering

Team Members: Andrew Sherlock, Sian Bayne, Frank Mill, Timothy Drysdale, Tim Fawns, Kirsten Lloyd

Abstract

Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) allow holograms and other digital information to be overlaid onto the physical environment. Applications of AR/MR are diverse, from industrial applications such as engineering design, to consumer applications such as gaming and retail. Major vendors such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple have made significant investments in AR/MR hardware and software so that devices are increasingly affordable and app development more straightforward.

Recent research indicates that, used correctly, AR/MR offers significant educational benefits.

Indeed, the University is investing in this hardware through initiatives such as uCreate and VisLab. Discussions with colleagues in Engineering, Medicine and the ECA demonstrated enthusiasm amongst academics to use AR/MR in their teaching. However, pedagogical questions on how best to design a learning experience and practical difficulties in developing an AR/MR app present a significant hurdle to an academic wanting to adopt these technologies.

This project addresses this ‘adoption gap’ by looking to identify and develop 3 pilot apps spanning the 3 colleges. In doing so we aim to:

i.  via a scoping exercise across Colleges identify areas where AR/MR piloting is most

    appropriate,

ii.  build better understanding of approaches to design of teaching, learning and assessment in AR/MR,

iii. develop inhouse expertise in the practical development of AR/MR apps.

This will help to inform any planning and future investment by the University in these technologies which seem likely to be an important component of any future digital education strategy. Student engagement will be a constant thread in the project, through a competition where students sketch an AR app that would have helped learning on one of their courses, evaluation of pilots, and supervision of AR projects at Masters level.

Other project outcomes

EdAR project page

Drysdale T (March 2019) Learning to code in context Teaching Matters