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Special Issue "Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gwo-Jen Hwang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei City 106335, Taiwan
Interests: mobile learning; ubiquitous learning; digital game-based learning; artificial intelligence in education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Haoran Xie
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computing and Decision Sciences, Lingnan University, 8 Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong 999077, China
Interests: AI in education; affective computing; digital humanities; educational data mining
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Xiao-Fan Lin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Guangdong Provincial Engineering and Technologies Research Centre for Smart Learning, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
Interests: augmented reality; ICT-supported teachers’ professional development; mobile-learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

At present, human beings are at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are triggering a new education revolution, which is pulling education to the stage of the development of situated education. Nowadays, global educational development still faces many problems in sustainable education. In the environment of combining situated learning with information technology, AR and VR can bring new scenes to learning and teaching, such as the coach, the facilitator, and the learning partner. The well-designed process of learning and teaching, integrated with AR and VR, which is immersion, navigation, and interaction, could provide situated learning. For example, one could provide rich and personalized support in the digital environment of online education, which lacks emotional communication and engagement, rather than timely pleasure and effect. The integration of AR/VR and other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing, could make similar changes in education and teaching. It will push for education change, including implementation and innovation, such as AR and VR serious games and picture books. Eventually, AR and VR will expand the new learning devices, such as mobile devices and head-mounted displays (HMD), and significantly benefit the development of the sustainable educational cause. We encourage researchers and practitioners to submit original research contributions that may be articles, case studies, critical perspectives, and reviews on topics related to this issue, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, and other advanced immersive computer technologies
  • Human interface device (HID) to stimulate human touch
  • New devices (e.g., mobile devices, head-mounted displays) in VR and AR used in education
  • The integration of emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing) with AR and VR
  • New ways of situated education (e.g., serious games) with AR and VR
  • The integration of situated educational training (e.g., medical operation, military, aviation, firefighting) with AR and VR
  • Situated learning with AR and VR
  • The systematic review of AR and VR
  • The integration of children's educational books and picture books with AR and VR
  • Human mental health and sustainable development (e.g., adolescent education, equity in educational outcomes)
  • Economic sustainability (e.g., addressing poverty and common prosperity), sharing economy (e.g., sharing bicycles and charging treasures), digital economy (e.g., digital currency, paperless environment)
  • Anti-epidemic (e.g., resource sharing, public welfare organizations, public health system) biochemical materials (e.g., biodegradable, renewable energy)
  • Manufacturing (e.g., recycling factories, sewage treatment)
  • Environmental protection (e.g., climate change, new energy exploitation, resource recovery system)
  • Art design (e.g., material reuse, sustainable design)
  • Social sustainability (e.g., country and region, family and community)
  • The community of human destiny (e.g., intercultural communication, food security, population, and migration)
  • Historical and cultural sustainability (e.g., inheritance of intangible cultural heritage, the inheritance of national languages, the disappearance of dialects and national languages)

Prof. Dr. Gwo-Jen Hwang
Prof. Dr. Haoran Xie
Prof. Dr. Xiao-Fan Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • augmented reality
  • virtual reality
  • mixed reality
  • technology-enhanced learning
  • human interface device (HID)
  • head-mounted displays (HMD)
  • situated learning with AR and VR
  • sustainable design

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Exploring Hong Kong Youth Culture via a Virtual Reality Tour
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13345; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313345 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 212
Abstract
The advantages of employing virtual reality tours in teaching are attributed to the virtual reality experience it provides to the students. In the case of teaching popular culture, benefits from the potential of VR tour are amplified by the empirical significance that would [...] Read more.
The advantages of employing virtual reality tours in teaching are attributed to the virtual reality experience it provides to the students. In the case of teaching popular culture, benefits from the potential of VR tour are amplified by the empirical significance that would lead to the students’ imagination and reflection. In addition, an online VR tour suggests a flexibility that allows students to learn anyplace anytime, satisfying the need for blended learning and distance learning, which is a very critical mode of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses the advantages and challenges of blending “virtual reality” into the teaching of popular culture, and, furthermore, the implications of VR in tertiary education are discussed by examining the research that is conducted through the application of a VR tour in the course: Hong Kong Popular Culture. Sixty-eight students participated in the course. After implementing the VR tour, a questionnaire survey and interviews were conducted. In addition, students wrote essays to reflect on the youth culture of contemporary Hong Kong after the explanation of the tour, and these were also examined. We observed the positive responses from the students and the way in which the VR tour could enhance the learning qualities in the course on cultural studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Article
Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Immersive Virtual Reality-Based Educational Game for Learning Topology Relations at Schools: A Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13066; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313066 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 285
Abstract
Education has always been modified by employing different technologies to enhance the knowledge acquisition and performance of students. Virtual Reality (VR) along with the Game Industry is among those evolving technologies for educational applications. This study aimed to design, implement, and evaluate an [...] Read more.
Education has always been modified by employing different technologies to enhance the knowledge acquisition and performance of students. Virtual Reality (VR) along with the Game Industry is among those evolving technologies for educational applications. This study aimed to design, implement, and evaluate an immersive VR-based Educational Game (IVREG) for learning topology relations. Topology relations are one of the fundamental topics which exist in Geospatial Information Science (GIS); due to the great capabilities offered by GIS, learning these basic topis is of great importance. A total of thirty-seven male middle-school students participated in this study. A total of four questionnaires were designed to evaluate the suitability of the proposed learning environment and its components at schools, particularly for learning geospatial topics. In conclusion, students found the IVREG useful and effective in classrooms. Additionally, the results showed that the components, namely the integrated pedagogical approach, gamification, and VR technology, were all suitable for being used at schools. On a final note, however, the study indicated that the immersion aspect of such learning environments should be enhanced in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Article
AR Learning Environment Integrated with EIA Inquiry Model: Enhancing Scientific Literacy and Reducing Cognitive Load of Students
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12787; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212787 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 339
Abstract
This study constructed the EIA (Experience–Inquiry–Application) model to evaluate its extent on promoting scientific inquiry activities under an AR learning environment in an upper primary science course setting. Two hundred and nine fifth-grade Chinese students were randomly assigned to one of the three [...] Read more.
This study constructed the EIA (Experience–Inquiry–Application) model to evaluate its extent on promoting scientific inquiry activities under an AR learning environment in an upper primary science course setting. Two hundred and nine fifth-grade Chinese students were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions, as a quasi-experiment was conducted to investigate how the EIA model and the AR learning environment influence students’ science learning. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Quantitative data suggest that students who participated in the EIA model under the AR setting performed the best; it also gives evidence to support that both the EIA model and the AR environment has significant positive effects on students’ performance in science learning. Qualitative data, in the form of a semi-structured interview with teachers and students, reveal that AR is able to be used for experiments that were originally deemed impossible, and it inspires students’ motivation for knowledge acquisition. Moreover, the EIA model empowers students in small-group collaboration, and is a good pedagogical tool to summarize units. EIA and AR form a bond of theory and technology and it strengthens students in manifold ways when it is deeply interwoven. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Article
Students’ Immersive Experience in Initial Teacher Training in a Virtual World to Promote Sustainable Education: Interactivity, Presence, and Flow
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212780 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
The Virtual World is a technology that has created countless opportunities for teaching and learning, innovating traditional and online education, and promoting a more sustainable and accessible education. Through their avatars and digital representations, students can navigate, observe, and manipulate virtual objects, while [...] Read more.
The Virtual World is a technology that has created countless opportunities for teaching and learning, innovating traditional and online education, and promoting a more sustainable and accessible education. Through their avatars and digital representations, students can navigate, observe, and manipulate virtual objects, while interacting with their classmates inside the simulated 3D environment. This study examined how preservice teachers experience and participate in a VW that simulates a university campus, considering three main components: interactivity, sense of presence, and state of flow. A total of 103 pedagogy students, enrolled in an educational technology course, participated in the study. A postintervention survey was implemented, as well as a self-report about the immersive experience. The results show a high level of agreement with the survey’s affirmations, which allows for the determination of the favorable levels of interactivity, presence, and flow, as well as the meaningful and positive associations among these technological properties. Guidelines are argued to deepen the Virtual World’s potential and are given for the design of pedagogical activities in those environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Article
Applying the ARCS Motivation Theory for the Assessment of AR Digital Media Design Learning Effectiveness
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12296; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112296 - 07 Nov 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
This research adopts Keller’s ARCS motivation theory as a method to create a teaching experiment by integrating augmented reality (AR) into teaching in order to enhance learning interest and learning effectiveness in a digital media design course. The purpose of this research is [...] Read more.
This research adopts Keller’s ARCS motivation theory as a method to create a teaching experiment by integrating augmented reality (AR) into teaching in order to enhance learning interest and learning effectiveness in a digital media design course. The purpose of this research is to examine the application of AR in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, whereby students can enhance their learning interest, learning satisfaction, and learning performance. Augmented reality acts as a tool for this research, wherein it is applied with the course of a 3D model-based interface and built-in learning contexts for the “digital media design” of the learning topics. The learning performance of the test group students was examined through the aspects of attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction, according to the ARCS motivation theory. According to the results of quantitative validation, experimental teaching with AR is more effective than traditional teaching methods. The learning feedback of the test group students obtained a positive result by using the AR. This research concludes with three results: firstly, integrating AR into teaching can improve students’ concentration with respect to digital media design practice; secondly, video teaching with an AR interface can help increase students’ confidence in digital media design learning; lastly, applying AR during the learning process can enhance the digital media visual effects that effectively enhance students’ self-learning abilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Article
Towards Figurative Expression Enhancement: Effects of the SVVR-Supported Worked Example Approach on the Descriptive Writing of Highly Engaged Students
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12260; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112260 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 351
Abstract
During the past decades, many researchers have attempted to explore effective teaching methods for developing students’ descriptive writing performance. In this study, the worked example was implemented as an effective way of guiding students to provide step-by-step solutions to learning tasks. Moreover, a [...] Read more.
During the past decades, many researchers have attempted to explore effective teaching methods for developing students’ descriptive writing performance. In this study, the worked example was implemented as an effective way of guiding students to provide step-by-step solutions to learning tasks. Moreover, a spherical video-based virtual reality (SVVR) environment was provided to place students in real-world situations which enabled them to experience the learning contexts in depth. A pretest-posttest quasi experimental study was conducted to explore the influence of the SVVR-supported worked example approach and engagement level on students’ Chinese descriptive writing performance. A total of 79 fourth-grade elementary school students participated in this study. The experimental group used SVVR with worked examples to complete Chinese writing assignments, whereas the control group used videos and worked examples. The results showed no significant effects of the SVVR-supported worked example approach compared with the conventional worked example approach regarding organization, sensory details, or creativity dimensions. As for the figurative expression dimension, students in the SVVR-supported worked example approach condition scored significantly higher. Moreover, high engagement students significantly outperformed low engagement students in all four writing performance dimensions. Additionally, a significant interaction effect between learning approach and engagement level on figurative expression was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Article
The Influence of Learners’ Cognitive Style and Testing Environment Supported by Virtual Reality on English-Speaking Learning Achievement
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111751 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 532
Abstract
Although VR technology can provide an ideal learning and application environment for learners’ language skill acquisition, the learning performance of different types of learners in virtual environments and differences in their knowledge transfer ability from the virtual to the real environment still need [...] Read more.
Although VR technology can provide an ideal learning and application environment for learners’ language skill acquisition, the learning performance of different types of learners in virtual environments and differences in their knowledge transfer ability from the virtual to the real environment still need further discussion. Therefore, we developed a VR English speaking training and testing system to understand the influence of cognitive style and test environment on the learners’ learning effect. The results indicated that: (1) the learning effect of the field-independent learners was lower than that of the field-dependent learners in the real testing environment, but significantly higher than that of the field-dependent learners in the virtual testing environment. Meanwhile, there was a more significant difference in the real and virtual learning effect between the field-dependent and field-independent learners; (2) there was a significant interaction between cognitive style and test environment in the learners’ learning effect. Besides, cognitive style and test environment had an influence on the spoken English learning effect based on VR. The field-independent learners were more likely to transfer what they had learned in the virtual environment to the real application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Review

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Review
Theory and Practice of VR/AR in K-12 Science Education—A Systematic Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12646; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212646 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 342
Abstract
Effective teaching of science requires not only a broad spectrum of knowledge, but also the ability to attract students’ attention and stimulate their learning interest. Since the beginning of 21st century, VR/AR have been increasingly used in education to promote student learning and [...] Read more.
Effective teaching of science requires not only a broad spectrum of knowledge, but also the ability to attract students’ attention and stimulate their learning interest. Since the beginning of 21st century, VR/AR have been increasingly used in education to promote student learning and improve their motivation. This paper presents the results of a systematic review of 61 empirical studies that used VR/AR to improve K-12 science teaching or learning. Major findings included that there has been a growing number of research projects on VR/AR integration in K-12 science education, but studies pinpointed the technical affordances rather than the deep integration of AR/VR with science subject content. Also, while inquiry-based learning was most frequently adopted in reviewed studies, students were mainly guided to acquire scientific knowledge, instead of cultivating more advanced cognitive skills, such as critical thinking. Moreover, there were more low-end technologies used than high-end ones, demanding more affordable yet advanced solutions. Finally, the use of theoretical framework was not only diverse but also inconsistent, indicating a need to ground VR/AR-based science instruction upon solid theoretical paradigms that cater to this particular context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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Review
A Systematic Review of AR and VR Enhanced Language Learning
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4639; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094639 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1567
Abstract
This paper provided a systematic review of previous Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) studies on language learning. A total of 88 articles were selected and analyzed from five perspectives: their ways of integrating AR or VR tools in language learning; main [...] Read more.
This paper provided a systematic review of previous Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) studies on language learning. A total of 88 articles were selected and analyzed from five perspectives: their ways of integrating AR or VR tools in language learning; main users of AR and VR technologies; major research findings; why AR and VR tools are effective in promoting language learning; and the implications. It was found that (1) immersing learners into virtual worlds is the main approach to language learning in AR and VR studies; (2) university students were the main users of AR/VR technologies; (3) the major research findings concerning the benefits of AR and VR included improvement of students’ learning outcomes, enhancement of motivation, and positive perceptions towards using AR and VR; (4) AR and VR tools promoted language learning through providing immersive learning experience, enhancing motivation, creating interaction, and reducing learning anxiety; and (5) implications identified from previous research include the need of providing training for teachers, enlarging sample sizes, and exploring learner factors such as learner engagement and satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-supported Sustainable Education)
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