eXtended reality for teachers
Academic researchers at The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology (IET) are working with a consortium of partners from across Europe to assist teachers in primary and tertiary education to adopt augmented reality in education.
As an activity of the ARETE project, short for ‘Augmented reality interactive educational ecosystem’, researchers are launching a pilot designed to accelerate the uptake of AR in education. It does this with MirageXR, the OU’s augmented reality authoring application and learning management system.
This pilot study seeks to evaluate (quantitatively and qualitatively) how well the MirageXR authoring toolkit supports teachers in designing XR learning experiences.
Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework program, ARETE is developing a Europe-wide competitive ecosystem that supports the dissemination of Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality content in education. It does this via the MirageXR platform, the OU's user-friendly authoring tool for course design, which crucially for teachers does not require prior AR experience.
Tried and tested human-centred authoring tools
Research in early test-beds and prior pilots have shown that the introduction of AR in education at scale requires tailored authoring tools to be localised in the control of teacher. This has been shown, through practice and feedback, to support the production of bespoke AR learning experiences for the mainstream as well as for the Long Tail.
On the adoption of the technology in early test-beds, Dr Lisa Bowers, Research Fellow in IET, commented:
"Educators have started to build a culture round the use of the content. As this 'technology-gossip' has formed, it has become clear that the use of eXtended reality technology could be possible in the context of a normal classroom setting."
The ARETE project is building on the success of three successful pilots, as well as receiving a CEN/CENELEC Standards+Innovation Award 2022 for Best Research Project, acknowledging the important contribution of research and innovation to standardisation.
In the new pilot, OU researchers are looking for teachers who:
- have a good level of English language
- are pre-service or in-service teachers
- are willing to participate
- have a compatible phone or tablet