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HOW AR-E YOUR SEMINARS?! COLLABORATIVE LEARNING WITH AUGMENTED REALITY IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION

N. Schiffeler, A. Abdelrazeq, V. Stehling, I. Isenhardt, A. Richert

IMA/ZLW - RWTH Aachen University (GERMANY)
This research paper focuses on globally trending topics such as virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) that increasingly find their way into people’s everyday life, gaming, education, and work flows. With special respect to the spreading of these technologies in professional environments, universities also need to adjust their teaching structures, due to their purpose of fostering the development of employability in students. Current examples of AR in education do not exploit the maximum potential of the technology (Datcu et al. 2016; Lukosch et al. 2015; Reiss/Steffens 2010). The use of AR e.g. in lectures is mainly limited for demonstrative purposes rather than being adapted as an interactive learning tool. If there is interaction, however, it is outside the AR application rather than within it. The application of interactive and collaborative group work (as e.g. in seminars, laboratory tutorials, or small group exercises), however, has increased in higher education within the last years. Due to its interactive, imparting nature, the potential of AR is thus considered to be an effective technology for further fostering these settings in higher education (Datcu et al. 2016) and imparting complex topics.

Since the effect of AR in group settings is still an open research topic, this research paper presents a comprehensive innovative, three-part concept for a collaborative interaction-based AR application in group-based learning scenarios comprising:
1) a SWOT analysis for identifying basic requirements to the use of AR in educational contexts,
2) a group-based AR scenario, and
3) an evaluation scheme specific to measuring the effect of this technology.

As a first part of the concept, a SWOT analysis on AR in (higher) educational contexts focusing group settings, which interaction and collaboration are key elements of, results in a list of criteria (i.e. requirements) on the dimensions “social”, “didactic”, “technical”, and “cognitive use”. As AR is a dynamic, interactive, and hands-on technology, a scenario for a similarly dynamic and application-based lecture on agile management is presented in the next part. The application and consolidation of imparted knowledge is supported by an AR environment displayed in this paper for students to interact with each other to manage and share knowledge, tasks, and competences in an agile manner. As an outlook and third part of the concept, the aim of the scenario’s implementation is to be able to investigate the effect of using AR in higher education group settings. With this concept, thus, the validity of the assumed potential of this trending technology in terms of its effectiveness in interactive, collaborative higher education group settings is targeted.