The MirageXR app fills gap in market with evaluative authoring tools for educators
MirageXR, the flagship cross-platform augmented reality (AP) app for industrial training and educational course creation, addresses the need for cross-sector functionality and learning objective evaluation.
The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology launched the MirageXR app with partners in 2021, responding to the need of educators, trainers and mixed reality developers to create AR-enabled curriculum and deliver training using augmented reality (AR).
MirageXR allows educators and developers to build custom holographic training courses, allowing for improvements in workplace process, data analysis to assess performance and help industrial workplaces save money on training costs.
Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) is at the heart of the app, supporting learners to do more than remember and understand the substance of learning activities.
These are facilitated by the app’s advanced authoring and performance analytics tools, enabling AR course designers and developers to easily edit courses, measure learner behaviour and help learners analyse their actions by recording practice settings to improve practice.
Research conducted by The Open University’s (OU) Performance Augmentation Lab has shown that current AR authoring tools in the iOS, Android and smart-glasses market, fall short of supporting course creators and organisations connect their learning processes to larger learning objectives.
Research shows that functionality tends to be limited to allowing users to display presentations, rather than facilitating support to apply learning in real time, real-world contexts. This technological barrier limits the scope for organisations, businesses, and educators to integrate their learning objectives in the augmented reality world.
The Open Source MirageXR app has taken steps to address the need for course designers and learners to actively work with information provided in mixed reality settings, rather than just receive it.
Working with simple and complex educational goals
The criteria for advancing AR technology in learning and teaching follows the same criteria that all educational learning objectives can be classified into, the Bloom taxonomy.
Named after the eminent educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, the educational taxonomy outlines various criteria to assess learning. It is so influential that since it was conceived in the mid-1900s, it became the primary vehicle for traditional education creation, still widely used by course designers and educational institutions for structuring curriculum learning objectives, activities, and assessment.
Professor Fridolin Wild, Head of The Open University’s Performance Augmentation Lab, built the MirageXR app to exceed the expectations of educators, covering all of Bloom’s learning criteria for an effective curriculum. Professor Wild shared, “The Mirage tool has been designed in order to be a combined editor as well as player. This gives the users the opportunity to be empowered to create with the tool, which in comparison to the landscape we are competing in, we are the only tool that supports all levels of complexity and specificity”.
Figure 1: MirageXR support for the Bloom's (ARETE deliverable 3.8).
Professor Wild added, “Our analysis has shown that competing technology only supports low-level authoring in terms of Bloom’s ‘learning objectives’, falling short when it comes to learners being able to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise when learning”.
“We have designed various modes in the app to meet these needs. For example, in GhostTrack mode, learner behaviour can be recorded and subsequently reviewed. This facilitates quality assurance , allowing trainers to show learners how to complete a task, as well as learners to share with their teachers how they completed these , showing them visuallyhow correct procedures were followed safely.”
“Mirage XR is purposively designed in a way that it encourages course designers and learners to generate content.Iinstead of creating a 2D powerpoint presentation, they now have the possibility to create a 3D (or even 4D) demonstration of the assignment they work on.”