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Supporting technology for augmented reality game-based learning

  • Autores: Hendrys Tobar Muñoz
  • Directores de la Tesis: Ramón Fabregat Gesa (dir. tes.), Silvia Baldiris (codir. tes.)
  • Lectura: En la Universitat de Girona ( España ) en 2017
  • Idioma: español
  • Tribunal Calificador de la Tesis: Angela Carrillo Ramos (presid.), Davinia Hernández-Leo (secret.), Carina Soledad González González (voc.)
  • Materias:
  • Enlaces
    • Tesis en acceso abierto en: TDX
  • Resumen
    • Every day, the interest in applying information technology for learning purposes grows. Researchers and developers argue that using technology in learning environments benefits students and teachers. This is to be expected, because technology allows creating experiences that put the student as the center of the learning process. Also, in recent years more and more institutions, teachers and students have access to different types of technology and media, leading to Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) to be of upmost importance to teachers, technology developers and policy makers. Among those technologies we can find Augmented Reality (AR) as a technological approach that proposes applications that allow students to interact with the real world trough virtual information, and Game-Based Learning (GBL) a pedagogical approach that advocates for the use of games with learning purposes. This thesis considers the union of both (ARGBL) and studies the implications of using it in the classroom. However, the field of ARGBL remains unexplored. Research is needed to define the concept, demonstrate its advantages and disadvantages, and devise methods and technologies so it can be adopted and used by teachers in real classrooms.

      In this thesis, ARGBL is explored and arguments are given in favor of its application in the classrooms. The thesis explores the concept and proposes technologies, theories and recommendations to help teachers and designers to include it in their learning activities.

      Thus, in order to explore the concept, the thesis shows a state of art on AR and GBL showing the previous works that support its application. This state of art also shows the strategies that have been used to design and create AR and GBL experiences which allowed the proposals on this thesis to be based on previous findings. Moreover, the state of the art identifies open-issues in the field of ARGBL that remain to be tackled and other aspects of the field are also explored showing examples and previous works.

      After contextualizing the reader into the concept and exploring its characteristics, this thesis shows an exploratory scenario where an ARGBL game was used for a reading comprehension activity in a classroom; an AR book involving a game was used. This exploratory scenario was used in a comparative study that studied the differences in performance and motivation among students who used the game and students who did not. Also, the exploratory scenario was used in an observation study that resulted in the identification of the actions performed by students who used the ARGBL game. This observation process focused on identifying the advantages, disadvantages and other implications of applying ARGBL in the classroom. It is argued that using the ARGBL game results in an enjoyable experience for children and also that the experience is enriched by allowing students to perform actions related to cognitive and soft skills.

      The exploratory scenario also resulted in the identification of a set of needs to be considered when designing ARGBL experiences for the classroom. Those needs identified that, in order to bring the ARGBL experience in an effective way, it is favorable to include teachers in the design process. However, there is still a gap in the relationship between teachers and AR and GBL designers. To fill this gap, this thesis proposes a method named “Co-CreARGBL” that is meant to guide teachers and professional designers in the creation, deployment and evaluation of ARGBL experiences. Since the method is meant to help in the collaboration of teachers and designers, the “Co-Design for Learning” tradition is adopted and the method is based on previous applications of this tradition. The method is then applied to a set of case studies where teachers and designers collaborated to create ARGBL experiences with different learning objectives. This collaboration spanned and months, and with these case studies the method was validated using the “Validation Square” as a framework for validating Co-CreARGBL as a design method.

      The thesis, then, argues for the validity of the method. For this, in order to give arguments for the validity of the method, a validation process is shown where relevant data gathered during the execution of the case studies was analyzed. The data analyzed was gathered under a mixed-method approach including quantitative and qualitative data. As a result of this, the method is considered to be valid as it shows to be useful, consistent and that the beneficial results of the case studies are related to the use of the method. In this thesis a detailed account of the design process is given. The account shows how the team of teachers and AR and game design professionals were able to deploy an ARGBL game with an accompanying learning experience. This was tested in a natural environment, which rendered the researchers to be able to observe the real consequences and insights into the learning activity and the behavior of teachers and students. At last, the validation of the study shows the advantages of using the method and it also shows that teachers seem to be satisfied and that they comprehend the qualities of the method.

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