AR and effective learning

How can augmented reality increase engagement of students towards effective learning?

This article is written for the purposes of the GAD project

Active methodologies and gamification are two approaches to education that aim to increase student engagement and motivation. Active methodologies involve students in the learning process through hands-on activities, problem-solving, and collaboration. Gamification, on the other hand, is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts, such as education, to engage and motivate learners. Both active methodologies and gamification have been shown to be effective in increasing student engagement and motivation in the classroom.

One of the key benefits of active methodologies is that they allow students to take an active role in their own learning. This approach encourages students to think critically and creatively, and to work collaboratively with their peers. Active methodologies also help to make learning more relevant to students by connecting it to real-world problems and issues. For example, instead of simply reading about a historical event, students might be asked to act out a historical scenario in a role-playing game. This type of activity allows students to engage with the material in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Gamification is another approach that can increase student engagement and motivation. This approach involves incorporating elements of game design into the learning process, such as points, badges, and leaderboards. By making learning more interactive and fun, gamification can help to keep students engaged and motivated. For example, a teacher might create a virtual scavenger hunt where students have to answer questions correctly in order to progress to the next level. This type of activity not only makes learning more engaging, but also helps to build a sense of competition and achievement.

One important area where active methodologies and gamification are proving to be particularly effective is in the field of education technology. The use of technology in the classroom, such as tablets and interactive whiteboards, is allowing teachers to create new and engaging learning experiences for students. For example, teachers can use augmented reality (AR) to create interactive 3D models of historical buildings or scientific concepts. This type of technology allows students to manipulate and explore the material in a way that is not possible with traditional methods. Indeed, augmented reality (AR) is becoming an increasingly popular tool for education as it allows for more engaging and interactive learning experiences. By overlaying digital information onto the real world, AR can help to make learning more relevant and meaningful for students. To give some examples, a student learning about a historical battle might be able to see a virtual representation of the battle taking place on a real-world map, could visit a chemical plant or installation or explore the morphology of micro-devices or cells, among other. This type of experience can help to make the material more engaging and memorable for the student.

The GAD Game is a digital learning game based on augmented reality, developed through the active contribution of teachers. During the development of the GAD Game, teachers improve their digital skills, understand the game logic and learn how to use it. The game runs both on a platform and on its app. The GAD Platform allows to create lessons, share their own 3D creations and see the progress of the students. The GAD Game app for smartphones has been implemented on both Android and iOS, which features a series of 3D models used in the educational process by interacting with the learning environment. Each model is followed by a small quiz based on the example lessons created by the professionals that were participating in the project workshops. As a whole, the GAD Project addresses educators, teachers and tutors, which are the main target of the project, since the main objective concerns the increase of their digital skills concerning the engagement of the students and providing incentives to participate, collaborate and learn to create and be creative. Also, educational institutions play an important role in supporting and inspiring educators to increase their skills, by offering quality training, adequate infrastructure and actual incentives and guarantees that educators feel supported and respected in their work. Finally, students are those to indirectly assess the process but also those who better reflect the progress. Their contribution to the research is crucial to help understand the extent of the importance of the use of such technologies in the educational process, as well as measure their level of participation compared to the more traditional modes.

In conclusion, active methodologies and gamification are two approaches to education that can increase student engagement and motivation. By incorporating elements of game design and technology, such as AR, into the learning process, teachers can create more engaging and interactive learning experiences for students. The key outcomes of the GAD Project are that the platform and the app have a high transferability potential, as they can be used by other teachers/ tutors/ educators. As well, through the platform, it will be possible to develop different types of open-source educational content, according to the student’s needs. Through learning by doing, trainers will develop several digcomps (levels 2, 3, 5, 6 DigCompEdu) and will be able to add their educational content and tailor it to their specific targets. The use of active methodologies and gamification, together with augmented reality, has the potential to revolutionize education and make learning more engaging, relevant, and effective for students of all ages.