MOBILE LEARNING WITH GAMIFICATION AND AUGMENTED REALITY IN PORTUGUESE HIGH EDUCATION
Mobile or portable devices offer a wide range of opportunities, contributing to change in the society where education is included. In this context, the evolution of new technologies in wireless communication systems as well as hardware and software for mobile devices has enabled the deployment of sophisticated communications and computing infrastructures to provide several mobile services.
According to the literature, the organization of learning is changing with the introduction of technology in educational institutions, for example in learning activities. The same literature also point out that the correct use of most technologies, stimulates the learning environments and promotes student motivation, being these important factors, determinants in learning. This is because attracting and motivating digital generation continues to put difficulties for educators around the world.
The intensive use of smart mobile devices and mobile applications has fueled a new wave of demand for mobile services, namely mobile learning (m_learning), which introduces the ubiquitous wireless learning system. With the help of these systems, users (mostly students) of mobile devices can use the educational material in their device to learn. Educational materials can be in the form of multimedia content or learning objects, which are characterized by interactivity, are very visual, engaging and effective leading to a better student learning. These learning objects can be easily used by students whenever needed and wherever they are, maximizing the "always there, always on" technology.
The capabilities of mobile devices have led to the emergence of technologies that have opened up new possibilities in the teaching and learning processes, namely Augmented Realty (AR) and Gamification.
AR allows users to view real environments in the real world with digital information overlapped in real environments (objects or locations), thus improving the user experience.
Three criteria for AR are defined in the literature:
(a) the combination of virtual and real environments,
(b) real-time interaction and
(c) 3D reference.
The use of this technology with mobile devices gives students the opportunity to gain differentiated access to a particular topic to be studied. In this context, the AR mobilizes the learning environment regardless of location and time, allowing flexibility in learning, particularly in higher education.
Gamification is described as "using game-based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, and promote learning." In a pedagogical context, gamification is classified as a didactic method, especially with respect to the validity of its integration. Gambling is not just a combination of elements of a game (points, leaderboards, etc.), but should also be seen as an experience for the player. In the context of the teaching-learning process, the use of gamification has had a positive result, particularly in the implementation in a set of themes and in several age groups, from undergraduate to university level.
In this context, the aim of this paper is to investigate the perception if the Portuguese Universities teachers using mobile Learning with gamification and augmented reality and if so how they can be used to promote student’s engagement inside and outside of the classroom.