Exploring perceptions about the educational use of augmented reality

Exploring perceptions about the educational use of augmented reality

Author: Rebecca John – Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago, New Zealand

Ross Johnston – Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago
Nancy Longnecker – Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago

Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology that could benefit learning experiences in an interactive and collaborative manner. AR superimposes graphic content onto a real view of the world, shaping the way we perceive and interpret information. This study explored the benefits and challenges of using AR as an educational tool, in particular with science and technology education.

The science communicated in this study focused on climate change and evolution through a prehistoric journey of Antarctica. A geological perspective showcases palaeontological discoveries of fossils found in Antarctica. The augmentation of fossils aimed to enhance visual storytelling by bringing the fossils to life. The exploration of fossils and palaeo-puzzles further enhanced scientific enquiry skills for tactile and visual learners.

Analysis of the literature and interview data revealed trends in AR benefiting spatial learning and storytelling enhanced by the immersive properties of AR. Creating stories through the lens of AR explores new possibilities to communicate science through 3D storytelling. Findings are discussed in relation to the interactive benefits of virtual models and animations that aimed to visualise scientific processes and phenomena by annotating the physical environment.

Educators and IT designers were interviewed to explore their perceptions on the production and use of AR for education purposes. Educators who were interviewed confirmed that AR was effective for learning through the creation of digital content to augment more traditional two-dimensional representations. IT designers interviewed emphasised the importance of blending real and digital content to benefit intuitive and immersive experiences.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Teaching science communication