There is a movement away from the containment of information in devices such as smartphones and tablets to information everywhere, information around us, displayed on the world and able to be interacted with in a different way. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enables us to do just that. ‘Augmented’ means to add or enhance something. In the case of AR, graphics, sounds and touch feedback are added to our natural world to create an enhanced user experience. AR uses the existing natural environment and overlays virtual information on top of it.
In this collaborative project, students plan, implement and monitor an AR project. They develop project management skills, collaborate with others and undertake a specific role.
Flow of Activities
AR and VR might sound similar but they are quite different. VR essentially places the user in another world through the use of a VR device or goggles, such as an Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear. VR blocks out the world and replaces it with a virtual world that immerses the user and heightens their senses as they experience the virtual environment.
AR adds something to the user’s current reality. AR mixes the physical and the digital worlds together in new ways. It is envisaged that with expected technical advancements and broader social acceptance new opportunities for use of AR will be created.
There are three key drivers of AR use:
Smartphones and tablets are hand-held devices, and can be isolating. AR can provide new dimensions to their use.
HP Reveal and Metaverse are user-friendly platforms that you could use to introduce students to AR development platforms. Unity and ARkit are more high-end platforms.
In planning a collaborate project that involves a digital solution such as one that involves AR, people with different skill sets are often bought together to contribute to the project at various stages. The successful outcome of these types of projects is highly dependent on the effective management of the project and resources, and the way in which team members collaborate and execute their specific roles.
Developing project management skills, collaborating with others and undertaking a specific role are all aspects of learning that students can demonstrate and develop during this project.
Designing a solution can be supported in several ways. Once the need has been identified students can:
Experience of how the technology platform operates can assist students in the design phase.
|Technical helper||Assist teacher and students to install the app on devices (including iOS and Android phones and tablets and Windows and Mac computers).|
|Graphic designer||Design splash screens and trigger cards.|
|Test case manager||Generate test cases to ensure that the products work as expected across platforms and devices.|
Waterfall method: Each process in the problem-solving methodology is completed before the next process begins.
Agile method: The Agile method does not require you to adhere to the strict order of each process. Rather, phases can be revisited and small components of the larger project can be undertaken more frequently, allowing for ongoing changes and testing.
How does AR work?
Generally, an AR experience has a trigger that generates an overlay or aura.
Trigger: A trigger could be, for example, a photograph, poster or object.
Overlay (aura): An overlay (known as an aura in HP Reveal) occurs when the trigger has been registered. Triggers are associated with overlays. When the user points the camera at the trigger, the overlay displays.
Simple AR solutions:
As a first lesson students could be challenged to create a one-step AR experience just to get familiar with the process. They can then undertake a more complex group project.
Using HP Reveal Studio: Simple one-step AR activities can be created using HP Reveal Studio on a smartphone or tablet. HP Reveal Studio also provides the option to add additional overlay actions to a trigger to create a sequence of actions.
More complex AR solutions:
Once each group of students has selected the focus for their AR solution, they need to define the problem in terms of its data, functional and non-functional requirements and design how the solution will operate. Using their selected platform, they can implement their solution.
Define, design and implement the AR solution
Ask students to consider the following.
Complete a checklist that helps with planning, carrying out and monitoring the project.
The primary focus of product evaluation is to make sure the product does what it is intended to do.
Student performance evaluation
Typically, teachers are required to report on students’ performance. Digital technologies work is often project based and a variety of pieces of evidence are needed to assess students’ performance.
Does the final solution do what was set out in the solution design?
Student performance evaluation
How can you plan to evaluate students’ work throughout the project development process?
These represent a meaningful assessment exercise, designed to engage students not in the content that they are learning but also the reasons why they are learning it.
Students may, as a class, list characteristics of what would make a good project and a project plan. For example, when considering their digital technologies project, students might consider what would make a good presentation of a requirements specification. For the project plan, how can the individual tasks and the allocated time for each be best shown? How can you tell if the project is on schedule?
While peer review is often fun and engaging, it can also present problems in that students need to be guided as to how best to use the process as a learning opportunity. In an example of formative assessment, students could be asked to test each other’s AR creations and provide feedback (for example, they could provide the top three best features of the app, as well as the top three issues).
Think aloud is a learning and assessment strategy designed to assist students to articulate their thought processes, and to help foster a supportive environment for learning.