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Study shows students felt more engaged by augmented reality but learned less than those viewing video

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LAWRENCE — As virtual and augmented reality play a more important role in everyday life, academics want to determine how effectively they can work in the classroom. A new University of Kansas study found that augmented reality lessons scored higher among users who reported being more engaged with the content than video lessons. However, objective data showed that people who interacted with the AR model learned less than those who watched the video. The results suggest that educators should carefully consider when and how they use augmented reality as part of their learning environment.

Mugul GuianaMugur Geana, associate professor of health communication and director of KU’s Center for Excellence in Health Communications to Underserved Populations, said 44 students were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19 pandemic). Half watched a video sharing information about the virus, its protein spike, viral capsule, and its genome. The other half, in the lab, he used a tablet that imagined a 3D virus model to interact with her AR model of the virus, allowing him to move around the virtual model and click on his 3D graphics. . While doing so, they received voice instructions containing information about the same viral components as the video.

“We want to explore how mixed reality can be used to tackle teaching and learning,” said Geana. “We are all used to seeing and learning things on small screens, especially after COVID, so it will be interesting to see how we can move beyond that 2D environment. thought.”

The study, conducted in collaboration with Dan Cernuska, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, North Dakota State University, and Pang Liu, Assistant Professor, Marian University, has been approved for presentation at the 2023 International Communication Society Conference in Toronto. .

Before entering the study, subjects answered a question about their knowledge of the virus that causes COVID-19. They were then randomly assigned to either the study video or her AR arm. During the experiment, participants in the video arm tracked their visual acuity to describe their attention to the graphic elements of the video. For AR arm participants, the in-room and tablet cameras recorded their interactions with the virtual 3D model for subsequent analysis. All participants were then exposed to the distractor video, after which retention of the presented information was tested. Finally, interviews were conducted to record feedback on their experience and teaching.

“We were interested in the interaction of students with viral models in both areas of research. “We measured if they were paying attention,” said Geana. We also examined whether they had seen all educational modules or skipped some.”

The results suggest that an AR model that projected a representation of the virus onto a physical environment was novel and more engaging, but that novelty was likely to distract attention from the information it was supposed to convey. We learned more from the video group, but that doesn’t mean AR isn’t suitable for educational purposes, says Geana. Instead, researchers need to understand how to successfully adapt and use it in classroom and distance learning settings to effectively engage and inform learners.

The findings are consistent with previous research on AR in education, says Geana, but they raise new questions for future projects. Future research at CEHCUP aims to test diverse AR educational information delivery models and their effectiveness.

Geana said he firmly believes immersive visualization technology is the future. To that end, CEHCUP will host its first research exhibition featuring fully virtual research posters showcasing his communication research by PhD students, faculty and alumni. The AR event will be held February 15th through he March 15th at the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications. As long as you have a smartphone or tablet, you can experience the research exhibition with a sense of realism.

For most of the study participants, the experiment was their first exposure to a mixed reality environment. The novelty factor and the excitement of exploring the virtual 3D model are the main causes of the lower information retention observed in the AR group compared to the video-exposed group, Geana said. I’m here. As students become more familiar with mixed reality as part of their daily lives, the technology may become less novel. Therefore, the authors argue that it is becoming increasingly important to better understand its potential and most effective uses in education.

Image credit: Center for Excellence in Health Communications to Underserved Populations

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