Xtended or Mixed Reality (AR+VR) for Education

A special issue of Computers (ISSN 2073-431X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 27194

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Universita degli Studi di Bari, Department of Computer Science, Bari, Italy
Interests: educational technology; serious games; smart education

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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management (DMMM), Polytechnic University of Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: mixed reality; industrial applications; technical training; user studies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Educational technologies have proven their impact on learning effectiveness, engagement, and motivation. Experts claim that recent advances in MR, and thus virtual and augmented reality, are a candidate for the next generation of educational tools. The advantages are manifold: AR technology makes the acquisition of knowledge and skills capture and the related visualization at the right place (registration of multimedia content) and time (understanding the specific user needs) possible in real time.

VR at different levels of immersion can provide very flexible educational payload anytime and anywhere, and thus, education and learning materials are more accessible. While the gaming industry is providing low-cost and effective devices in the very short time, there are many issues to be solved. Scientific literature is still not mature and lacks user studies and guidelines in different fields (such as surgery, flying a plane, etc.), user age, and background.

In this Special Issue, we would like to collect methods, experiences, case studies, and experiments which can potentially lead to significant advances in MR reality for learning.

The main topics include but are not limited to the application of MR to:

  • MR for schools, education, and children;
  • MR for impaired, disabilities, rehab;
  • MR virtualization of learning: principles, technologies, tools;
  • Design and implementation of augmented reality learning environments;
  • MR educational guidelines and user studies;
  • Aspects of environmental augmented reality security and ethics;
  • Science education methods;
  • MR industrial professional training;
  • MR social and technical issues;
  • Augmented healthcare, quality of life, and well-being;
  • Augmented reality for sports training;
  • Augmented reality and serious games;
  • Rehabilitation and assistive augmentation;
  • Augmented intelligence.

Dr. Veronica Rossano
Prof. Michele Fiorentino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality
  • Mixed reality
  • Educational technology
  • Serious game
  • Sport training
  • Industrial training
  • Rehabilitation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

24 pages, 5802 KiB  
Article
Design of a Mixed Reality Application for STEM Distance Education Laboratories
by Michele Gattullo, Enricoandrea Laviola, Antonio Boccaccio, Alessandro Evangelista, Michele Fiorentino, Vito Modesto Manghisi and Antonio Emmanuele Uva
Computers 2022, 11(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers11040050 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3123
Abstract
In this work, we propose a Mixed Reality (MR) application to support laboratory lectures in STEM distance education. It was designed following a methodology extendable to diverse STEM laboratory lectures. We formulated this methodology considering the main issues found in the literature that [...] Read more.
In this work, we propose a Mixed Reality (MR) application to support laboratory lectures in STEM distance education. It was designed following a methodology extendable to diverse STEM laboratory lectures. We formulated this methodology considering the main issues found in the literature that limit MR’s use in education. Thus, the main design features of the resulting MR application are students’ and teachers’ involvement, use of not distracting graphics, integration of traditional didactic material, and easy scalability to new learning activities. In this work, we present how we applied the design methodology and used the framework for the case study of an engineering course to support students in understanding drawings of complex machines without being physically in the laboratory. We finally evaluated the usability and cognitive load of the implemented MR application through two user studies, involving, respectively, 48 and 36 students. The results reveal that the usability of our application is “excellent” (mean SUS score 84.7), and it is not influenced by familiarity with Mixed Reality and distance education tools. Furthermore, the cognitive load is medium (mean NASA TLX score below 29) for all four learning tasks that students can accomplish through the MR application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Xtended or Mixed Reality (AR+VR) for Education)
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12 pages, 3180 KiB  
Article
Learn2Write: Augmented Reality and Machine Learning-Based Mobile App to Learn Writing
by Md. Nahidul Islam Opu, Md. Rakibul Islam, Muhammad Ashad Kabir, Md. Sabir Hossain and Mohammad Mainul Islam
Computers 2022, 11(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers11010004 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5201
Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) has been widely used in education, particularly for child education. This paper presents the design and implementation of a novel mobile app, Learn2Write, using machine learning techniques and augmented reality to teach alphabet writing. The app has two main [...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) has been widely used in education, particularly for child education. This paper presents the design and implementation of a novel mobile app, Learn2Write, using machine learning techniques and augmented reality to teach alphabet writing. The app has two main features: (i) guided learning to teach users how to write the alphabet and (ii) on-screen and AR-based handwriting testing using machine learning. A learner needs to write on the mobile screen in on-screen testing, whereas AR-based testing allows one to evaluate writing on paper or a board in a real world environment. We implement a novel approach to use machine learning for AR-based testing to detect an alphabet written on a board or paper. It detects the handwritten alphabet using our developed machine learning model. After that, a 3D model of that alphabet appears on the screen with its pronunciation/sound. The key benefit of our approach is that it allows the learner to use a handwritten alphabet. As we have used marker-less augmented reality, it does not require a static image as a marker. The app was built with ARCore SDK for Unity. We further evaluated and quantified the performance of our app on multiple devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Xtended or Mixed Reality (AR+VR) for Education)
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15 pages, 21371 KiB  
Article
Implementation of Augmented Reality in a Mechanical Engineering Training Context
by Dominique Scaravetti and Rémy François
Computers 2021, 10(12), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers10120163 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4173
Abstract
Global industry is at the heart of its fourth industrial revolution, being driven by the emergence of new digital solutions: Augmented reality allows us to consider the evolution towards the “the augmented operator”. This technology is currently little used in higher education, especially [...] Read more.
Global industry is at the heart of its fourth industrial revolution, being driven by the emergence of new digital solutions: Augmented reality allows us to consider the evolution towards the “the augmented operator”. This technology is currently little used in higher education, especially for mechanical engineers. We believe that it can facilitate learning and develop autonomy. The objective of this work is to assess the relevance of augmented reality in this context, as well as its impact on learning. The difficulties for a student approaching a technical system are related to reading and understanding 2D and even 3D representations, lack of knowledge on components functions, and the analysis of the chain of power transmission and transformation of movement. The research is intended to see if AR technologies are relevant to answer these issues and help beginners get started. To that end, several AR scenarios have been developed on different mechanical systems, using the relevant features of the AR interfaces that we have identified. Otherwise, these experiences have enabled us to identify specific issues linked to the implementation of AR. Our choice of AR devices and software allows us to have an integrated digital chain with digital tools and files used by mechanical engineers. Finally, we sought to assess how this technology made it possible to overcome the difficulties of learners, in different learning situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Xtended or Mixed Reality (AR+VR) for Education)
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19 pages, 26345 KiB  
Article
Learning History Using Virtual and Augmented Reality
by Inmaculada Remolar, Cristina Rebollo and Jon A. Fernández-Moyano
Computers 2021, 10(11), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers10110146 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 6080
Abstract
Master lectures of history are usually quite boring for the students, and to keep their attention requires a great effort from teachers. Virtual and Augmented Reality have a clear potential in education and can solve this problem. Serious games that use immersive technologies [...] Read more.
Master lectures of history are usually quite boring for the students, and to keep their attention requires a great effort from teachers. Virtual and Augmented Reality have a clear potential in education and can solve this problem. Serious games that use immersive technologies allow students to visit and interact with environments dated in different ages. Taking this in mind, this article presents a playful virtual reality experience set in Ancient Rome that allows the user to learn concepts from that age. The virtual experience reproduces as accurately as possible the different buildings and civil constructions of the time, making it possible for the player to create Roman cities in a simple way. Once built, the user can visit them, accessing the buildings and being able to interact with the objects and characters that appear. Moreover, in order to learn more information about every building, users can visualize them using Augmented Reality using marker-based techniques. Different information has been included related to every building, such as their main uses, characteristics, or even some images that represent them. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the developed experience, several experiments have been carried out, taking as sample Secondary School students. Initially, the game’s quality and playability has been evaluated and, subsequently, the motivation of the virtual learning experience in history. The results obtained support on the one hand its gameplay and attractiveness, and on the other, the student’s increased interest in studying history, as well as the greater fixation of different concepts treated in a playful experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Xtended or Mixed Reality (AR+VR) for Education)
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16 pages, 9458 KiB  
Article
ARLEAN: An Augmented Reality Learning Analytics Ethical Framework
by Athanasios Christopoulos, Stylianos Mystakidis, Nikolaos Pellas and Mikko-Jussi Laakso
Computers 2021, 10(8), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers10080092 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 7021
Abstract
The emergence of the Learning Analytics (LA) field contextualised the connections in various disciplines and the educational sector, acted as a steppingstone toward the reformation of the educational scenery, thus promoting the importance of providing users with adaptive and personalised learning experiences. At [...] Read more.
The emergence of the Learning Analytics (LA) field contextualised the connections in various disciplines and the educational sector, acted as a steppingstone toward the reformation of the educational scenery, thus promoting the importance of providing users with adaptive and personalised learning experiences. At the same time, the use of Augmented Reality (AR) applications in education have been gaining a growing interest across all the educational levels and contexts. However, the efforts to integrate LA techniques in immersive technologies, such as AR, are limited and scarce. This inadequacy is mainly attributed to the difficulties that govern the collection and interpretation of the primary data. To deal with this shortcoming, we present the “Augmented Reality Learning Analytics” (ARLEAN) ethical framework, tailored to the specific characteristics that AR applications have, and focused on various learning subjects. The core of this framework blends the technological, pedagogical, and psychological elements that influence the outcome of educational interventions, with the most widely adopted LA techniques. It provides concrete guidelines to educational technologists and instructional designers on how to integrate LA into their practices to inform their future decisions and thus, support their learners to achieve better results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Xtended or Mixed Reality (AR+VR) for Education)
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