USING PROTOTYPES TO IDENTIFY PEDAGOGICAL STRATEGIES FOR THE INTEGRATION OF AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE CLASSROOM
The success index of the courses is many times affected by the student's (lack of) motivation and by difficulties in content learning. The introduction of new technologies in this context can be an important asset to overcome these difficulties. Thus, it is important for an educational system to be up-to-date with the technological advances and the changes it may bring to teaching innovation and as a complement to the learning process in the classroom. The technologies that are being gradually introduced in educational contexts enable teachers and students to diversify strategies that lead to knowledge building. However, the exploration of new technologies in the classroom is always a challenge for all the participants in the educational process. One of these technologies, augmented reality, has been capturing the teachers’ attention. It creates the expectation that its uses may provide students with new ways to interact, new possibilities of collaboration between students and between students and teachers and, potentially, an increase in the motivation for learning. This research was carried in an Information and Communication Technologies course with sixty-two students from the 8th grade, with no prior experience with Augmented Reality systems and limited information about it.
It has three objectives:
i) to identify, explore and evaluate different strategies for the integration of Augmented Reality systems in the teaching and learning process of an Information Communication Technologies subject;
ii) to define a set of guidelines (best practices) for the integration of Augmented Reality systems in teaching and learning processes, and;
iii) to evaluate if the introduction of Augmented Reality technologies in the learning process carries significant improvements in the motivation and competences acquisitions of students.
To achieve these goals an action-research methodology was followed, structured in several research cycles each with a different prototype for students to use in the classroom. The developed prototypes range from simple technological integrations to more complex ones with the introduction of an augmented reality system and were evaluated hands-on by teachers and students. The analysis of the students opinions expressed in the questionnaires revealed high levels of motivation, which increased with the complexity of prototypes including augmented reality systems, despite a slight decrease on the concentration in more complex prototypes. The most significant result was that the use of the prototypes added an extra motivation for students when solving worksheets and helped them to understand and strengthen their knowledge about the contents. It was also validated as a mean to promote learning in other subjects besides ICT related ones.