INSPIRE will host a new research project, “ARstudio: Creating Opportunities for Multimodal Layered Learning through Augmented Reality” that has won an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Innovation & Development grant ($224,000). The project will be lead by the University of Canberra with partners from Australian National University and Macquarie University. The project explores the application of Augmented Reality to expand our concept of learning spaces, to create new dimensions in mobile learning and to increase connectedness of learners in multiple contexts. Augmented reality is the term used to describe real-time views of a physical, real-world environment whose elements have been augmented, enhanced or enriched by computer generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. Early uses of augmented reality focused on the use of web-cams to display alternative images when a particular object or image was viewed through them. However, the term has grown to include any actions that augment or expand, whether viewed through mobile devices or projected onto real surfaces. The two-year project has as its primary goals to develop effective uses of augmented reality in educational contexts together with tools for mapping its uptake and evaluating its effectiveness. The project will result in four key deliverables:
- a collection of developed practice models, illustrating interactive, pedagogically-driven uses of augmented reality in common learning spaces;
- tools for mapping the uptake and evaluating the effectiveness of augmented-reality-based learning opportunities;
- documentation and guidelines on the construction and implementation of augmented reality in educational contexts; and
- a documented augmented-reality history of the project itself, showcasing the potential power of layered reality as a means of providing evocative histories of learning spaces and ideas.