New Technologies Shaping Learning?: AR Learning Experiences and Integration Model

New Technologies Shaping Learning?: AR Learning Experiences and Integration Model

Kirsi Maria Aaltola
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3250-8.ch010
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Jean Piaget described that intelligence is shaped by experience. In augmented reality (AR) learning environments, the learner may have an immersive experience, from a sensor-motoric opportunity as a person to 3D experience. Few studies in the academic literature directly evaluate and analyze learning technology with regard to immersive experience in training. This chapter seeks to examine learning experiences when playing with AR learning technologies and suggests an alternative implementation model for the integration of immersive learning content to adult training. Specifically, this study examines a learning tool and a game targeted for the professionals working in security and peacebuilding context. This study points out a relevance of cognitive and constructive learning processes with a special attention to experience and reflection, and that technological immersive tools can positively support training when designed properly. Moreover, case study findings led to proposing an implementation model to integrate immersive content, AR tools, and games into adult training.
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Specific case studies have shown potentiality of virtual technologies to be integrated to training and education in order to enhance motivation and commitment (Harris & Reid, 2005; Kerawalla et al., 2006; Martin-Gutierrez et al., 2010; Di Serio et al., 2013). Already in 2008, the online enrollments were growing significantly faster than the higher education enrollments in general (Allen & Seaman, 2008). In 2010 onwards, it was recognized that there will be a rapid shift in education from traditional classrooms to online and virtual environments (Allen & Seaman, 2010; Lindgren & Johnson-Glenberg, 2013). Emerging technologies make education and training more accessible, and students with disabilities can join to virtual environments (Lange, et al. 2010) as well as communities with access to Internet. Use of exploratory learning technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR) as well as Virtual Reality (VR), is raised in training and education field. Simulation of a real-life scenario transfers knowledge from reality setting to simulation targeted for communities. VR and AR systems create a feeling of exploring virtual world with use of features and tools (e.g. projection screens, virtual glasses, gloves with sensors, trackers, keyboards etc.). Nevertheless, the level of features used is completely lower in the field of education compared to the commercial game industry. In addition, the use of full potential of AR and VR in training and education is limited, even immersive and visual experiences has become a new trend in several fields. Practical challenges have been noticed especially from the learning point of view and when integrating solutions to training curricula.

Benefits of technologies are recognized in different fields. In addition, humanitarian, security, and justice actors working in conflict response or peacebuilding have also recognized that the changing global digital landscape and the rapidly evolving role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Digitalization represents new and important opportunities in terms of preventing and responding to international disasters and conflicts (Brown, 2018, p. 137) through training of competent experts and professionals. Training plays a crucial role in learning and expertise development before entering to different work environment or landscape. This chapter reviews learning approaches, presents particular case study findings about experiences in two AR technologies and provides a model to integrate of technologies to training more efficiently in practice.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Embodied Cognition: Embodied cognition is the theory that understands that features of cognition are shaped by aspects of the entire body of the organism. The body aspects include the motor system, the perceptual system, interactions and assumptions about the world. This theory addresses the importance of body for thinking and problem solving.

Adult Learning: Adult learning is a process of adults gaining knowledge, skills, and competence. It is defined as the practice of teaching and educating adults, theory and study of adults learning, or pedagogical process.

Immersive Learning Technology: Immersive learning technology is an integration of augmented or virtual content of physical environment for user or player to experience and engage with. Technologies for immersive experiences are augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or other recognition and sensing tools.

Scenario: Scenario is often a written outline or synopsis of a novel or stage of work giving details of specific scenes. It includes a description of possible actions and events of future, and provides a written plan giving particulars as to the scenes, characters, or situations.

Constructivism: Constructivism is a philosophical learning theory of education. Learners’ knowledge and experiences are determined by learners’ social and cultural environment. Learning occurs by learners constructing knowledge out of experiences. Therefore, learning is an active and constructive process.

Augmented Reality: AR is a system that combines a real or virtual world, interaction with objects, and includes perceptional information. Sometimes it also includes multiple sensory modalities, such as visual or auditory.

Perception: Perception is an ability to be aware of something through senses. From psychological viewpoint, it includes processes, including memory, of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information. It involves signals that go through nervous system.

Simulation: Simulation of technology for training, education and games is an imitation of a situation or process. Simulation show the real eventual effects of conditions and courses of action. Simulation is often used in cases when the real system or environment cannot be engaged because, for example, it is not accessible or it may be dangerous.

Experiential Learning: Experiential learning is a learning process through doing (experience) and reflecting. Person has a concrete experience following by the reflection of the experience. Effective experiential learning includes also abstraction analysis with generalization.

Knowledge Creation: Knowledge creation means continuous combination, transfer and conversion of different knowledge. It is a formation of new ideas, occurs through interactions, and includes tacit and explicit forms of knowledge.

Cognition: Cognitive mental actions or processes of acquiring knowledge and understanding through senses and experiences.

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