In this outline, the use of an augmented reality (AR) interface is discussed for use in the construction of collaborative educational applications, which can be used to enhance both the student experience and current teaching methods.
Audience engagement would involve downloading the Aurasma app on their mobile device and joining the mmuAR channel. The audience would then be able to experience using AR for both fun and learning via pre prepared exercises (5 mins).
Discussions further to this would centre on the concept of AR and how it can be used in the educational setting – both as enhancement for learning and teaching and development of employability skills.
The term ‘Aura’ is used to denote digital content linked to a physical object (Aurasma, 2015). Printed material can provide a digital link to enable a combination of multimedia information (such as video, animations and three-dimensional objects) to be superimposed onto the real world, creating an immersive learning experience (Kipper & Rampolla, 2013). In the case of this study, different scenarios have been designed based on human-computer interaction principles that has allowed virtual information to be presented in an interactive and informative way.
This outline highlights the development and implementation of Augmented Reality (AR) at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) using Aurasma, an augmented reality platform (Aurasma, 2015).
AR was used through two approaches; to engage visitors at an Open Day to the University and to enable students to highlight their skills at the Graduate Art Show. Engagement with visitors and students provided an immersive-media based experience of using AR to blur the line with what is real and what is computer generated to enhance the real world.
The augmented reality content was highly rated in terms of ease of use as well as the quality and content of the videos. For example, a visitor commented:
“… all about the finance which helped to explain it to my parents. It recapped everything I had spoken to the student ambassadors about.”
“I found the student finance video very reassuring as I learnt that the university would be very helpful throughout the student finance application process.”
The graduate student response was:
“Having not heard about Augmented Reality before, I was excited to see how the presentation of my practice would work with it. I jumped at the chance to use the new technology and find out how relevant it could be for me. My methods, ideas and three-dimensional pieces have come together through working on this project”.
Participants would be shown how quickly they can create AR (using the Aurasma app) themselves. The MMU Finance AR postcard would be used as an example to show participants how to create and view AR content.
The educational benefit of AR is a major one of the key emerging technologies for education (Johnson, Levine, Smith Haywood. 2010a, 2010b). Although AR provides a faster and more consistent method of linking digital content to the real world, the medium also allows information to be offered in situations where previously this has not been possible. However, a carefully planned and managed use of AR software in the teaching and learning environment is needed to avoid a focus solely on the technology rather than on the educational aims and outcomes.
The session would be brought to a conclusion by discussing the current projects MMU as an institution are working on using AR and would welcome questions from the audience.
Aurasma. (2015) About Aurasma. [online] [accessed 10th March 2015] [http://www.aurasma.com/what-is-it/].
Johnson, L.F., Levine, A., Smith, R.S., & Haywood, K. (2010a), Key emerging technologies for elementary and secondary education, Education Digest 76(1), pp36-40.
Johnson, L.F., Levine, A., Smith, R.S., & Haywood, K. (2010b) Key emerging technologies for postsecondary education. Education Digest 76(2), pp34-38.
Kipper, G., Rampolla, J., (2013), Augmented Reality; An Emerging Technologies Guide to AR, 1st ed, USA: Elsevier.