ACTIVE LEARNING: EXPERIENCES AND EDUCATIONAL PERSPECTIVES OF THE APPLICATION OF AUGMENTED REALITY IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING OF CADETS
Digital communication is actualized in the educational process, and its participants, which means professors and students, creators of new information practices, make an integral part of the teaching process by using modern digital technologies, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Their application can significantly improve the educational process and contribute to the development of active learning. Current research on the application of AR in higher education highlights the increased effectiveness of teaching, the development of digital literacy and digital competencies of students that have a great impact on learning and teaching in university education. The mentioned research partly provides an answer to the problem related to the application of active learning in the teaching process. However, they do not provide a solution on how to evaluate the learning outcomes achieved by applying augmented reality in the teaching of military defence students, and how to conduct practical classes in situations of unavailability of military equipment. Furthermore, these are precisely the research questions which this paper is based on. The research was conducted using the user experience method for the needs of which the augmented reality application of the PzH2000 combat armoured vehicle was developed, the content analysis method of software solutions and the survey questionnaire method. Cadets of military defence studies at the University of Zagreb were selected for the research sample as they go through the process of acquiring both theoretical knowledge and practical training at the same time. Based on the obtained results, an AR conceptual model was designed and it shows a complex realistic system of presentation of military equipment in the process of education and training of cadets. The development of the application prototype is described and the user testing of the prototype with cadet students is accurately elaborated. The created AR model defines a unique conceptual framework of learning outcomes using augmented reality. In this sense, this paper represents an initiative step in defining a standard AR information model for the needs of military defence studies. The obtained research results represent the basis for further development of technological possibilities and application solutions based on new AR technologies, indicate educational perspectives of their application not only in the presentation of military equipment but also in the presentation of other technical equipment necessary for acquiring manual skills in the training process, biotechnical and medical sciences.