Mon 23rd January 2017 - 15:46

The JoyAR project: Augmenting the reality of adult learners’ experience

Augmented reality (AR) is a form of technology where computer-generated images are superimposed onto objects as a form of enhancement.

They improve or augment what is already there. The potential of this technology in education has only recently started to be explored. So far the main focus has been on introducing AR into primary and secondary education, but little work has been done on using this technology in adult education.

That is why OEE met with Lukáš Richterek – project coordinator of the JoyAR project. The JoyAR project focused on exploring how augmented reality can be used to create joyful adult education and training environments.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am an assistant lecturer at Palacký University Olomouc, Faculty of Science, Department of Experimental Physics. I’m interested in the education of future physics teachers. What I love about my job is the variety that comes with it. I like that every day is different.

Why is it important to support project-based learning?

I think it is important to support project-based learning because the longer I teach, the more I realise how vital it is to have active students. Our project can act as a great source of inspiration. It is important to gain experiences in order to develop new skills.

Can you tell us something more about the implementation of the JoyAR project?

We started with doing case studies to learn more about the use of AR technology around the world. The case studies covered a wide range of topics from the use of augmented reality in teaching cutting and milling to how AR can be used in dendrology and active teaching about magnetism. Following this we had a very useful weekend seminar to learn how to make simple 3D models using a software called SketchUp.

What were some of the challenges you faced during this project

As with many projects, we ran into a few challenges. The biggest challenge was that out of nine partners working on this project only two had experience with augmented reality and its use in education. The remaining seven had to quickly learn all about AR and how to create simple 3D models. Acquiring these skills and knowledge for a short period of time was indeed challenging.

What were the measurable results of the project? What did you learn that you wouldn’t have by taking part in this project?

One of our project’s main outcomes is the JoyAR Interactive Book. The role of the book is to help adult training providers learn more about the use of AR in education. The book contains demos and links to downloadable 3D models.

We also produced a best practice and statistical analysis report on the impact AR has on adult learners, as well as a list of over 30 useful links for using AR in education.

One of the most valuable outcomes in my opinion was receiving positive evaluation and feedback from our learners. I benefitted from this project in many ways; I learnt how to construct 3D models and turn them into interactive augmented reality and include them into lessons and seminars. I appreciated learning from more experienced partners.

As a coordinator I learnt many invaluable skills such as coordinating discussions and mitigating misunderstandings. I am grateful to two of our colleagues in our steering committee for all their help and advice.

I will never forget the productive project meetings and the atmosphere of fruitful cooperation.

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