Event Report: White Rose Learning Technologists’ Forum March 2013

Last week I attended my first meeting of the White Rose Learning Technologists’ Forum (WRLT) which was hosted by two of the learning technologists at the University of Leeds. The event was really interesting as the hosts Kristen Thompson and James Little created an Easter themed treasure to demonstrated the use of augmented reality app, Aurasmus. Before the hunt began the forum members discussed how this application could be used to enhance teaching and learning of FE/HE students.

Duke of Wellington, Hyde Park, Leeds

Duke of Wellington, Hyde Park, Leeds

Below are a few of the ideas we discussed:

  • Can be used as part of an induction or open day process – learners scan ‘hot spots’ to reveal content about the services offered by the institution. This could also be used to create interactive lessons where students scan objects to reveal lesson content
  • ‘Like the Buxton College prospectus ‘hot spots’ can be embedded into an institutions prospectus to bring the written content to life via audio and video clips
  • To create interactive posters – ‘hot spots’ are created on a paper based posters, students scan the Aurasmus app over the poster to reveal pop up information videos
  • To re-enact different eras in history – for example on an archeology field trip students could scan certain objects to reveal 3d animations or short films about how the site would have been used in the past.

Before the event the college that I work at was already looking into the use of augmented reality as part of our induction this September. One of the reasons that the treasure hunt was so useful was that it presented a number of pros and cons with using the software and we can alter the induction process based on this. Below are a list of some of the pitfalls with using the software with ideas for how these can be overcome.

  1. The hunt started off really slow as the first location contained a large number of objects that related to the clue, picking an unusual object in that area would have increased the time spent at the first area significantly 
  2. It was difficult to scan the first object as the application viewer had to be held at a specific angle to reveal the next clue therefore it would be useful to include instructions on how the object should be scanned
  3. Weather  – unfortunately being in England the weather can be unpredictable and at the time of the hunt Leeds was experiencing arctic conditions which meant user engagement waned after the first few clues as we were all frozen so it would be good to have an inside option as well just incase the weather turns.
  4. The time of day will also be a factor in how successful the app is as the appearance of the scannable image s may vary greatly depending on the natural light available

I’m really glad that I attended the WRLT forum as it was not only a fantastic opportunity to gather new ideas it was also great to discuss the role with fellow learning technologists.

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