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Reality environments in formal education – Neither a panacea nor a plague.
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT. (RCIW)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1681-5418
2016 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Sustainable development
The content falls within the scope of Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

This presentation reports the results of a literature review where a particular kind of technology-based teaching approaches; i e. virtual, augmented, mixed and hybrid reality environments, were investigated. The concepts refer to different levels of immersion; for instance, augmented reality ‘allows the user to see a real world that is supplemented with virtual worlds’ (Kerawalla et al., 2006).

Applications of the technological approaches in education is still argued to be ‘in its early stage of development’ (Falloon, 2010). Most research has been conducted on higher education (Duncan, Millar & Jiang, 2012) while a focus on primary and secondary school has largely been overlooked so far, as confirmed by Gerstein (2009). Literature reviews have previously been conducted within the area (see Selwyn, 2007; Allison, 2008; Hew & Cheung, 2010; Parsons & Cobb; 2011; Grynszpan et al., 2014; Wass & Porayska-Pomsta, 2014; Abdul Jabbar & Felicia, 2015), but there are still gaps to be acknowledged. This review attempts to fill such a current gap not only by spanning the ‘reality continuum’ of all three types of environments but also by taking a particular interest in formal school for children and young people. In addition the review contributes a didactically based perspective. A combined interest in these aspects is uncommon in the literature. Thus, this review aims to provide knowledge of what virtual, augmented and mixed reality environments bring to formal learning practices at school. Here, ‘school’ refers to primary and secondary, including upper secondary, school.

Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used

The review was conducted in two steps; one exploratory and one systematic. The exploratory phase was characterized by a manual process inlcuding a snowball approach and the systematic phase by using the SAGE and ERIC (via ProQuest) databases. The search query was directed to articles that matched the indicators of the varied ‘realities’ in combination with the notion of ‘classroom’. Papers dealing with both compulsory school and higher education (as in Hew & Cheung, 2010) were included but processed without a focus on higher education. In total 42 articles were included. Together the total corpus of included studies provided evidence for the potential homogenous and/or heterogeneous character of the field. The approach enabled a focus on tensions between established different interests and as such supported the critical discussion that ends the review. The year span covers publications from 2006 to 2015. Particularly when previous literature reviews were dealt with, a few insights from an earlier date were also considered. In the broader perspective, the overall process should be characterized as iterative. A specific example is ‘hybrid reality’ which appeared as a concept in the middle of the procedure and called for a change of indicators.

Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings

The results include a didactically oriented overview, focusing the aspects 'material', 'organisation' and 'assessment'.The results also include an overview of affordances and constraints. The affordances emerging from the review in total overrule the evidenced constraints, but reliability and validity matters should be kept in mind. My conference presentation will mainly focus on the latter, i. e. reliability and validity matters as well as tensions. To give an example, one problematic matter in the research is the proneness to refer to what can be regarded as false dichotomies; traditional classroom work is by definition characterized as unsophisticated whereas technology-based work is depicted the opposite  Dunleavy, Dede and Mitchell (2009) suggest that the ‘cultural and technological shift’ call for further studies regardless of seeing the technology  ‘as neither a panacea nor a plague ’(p. 7). This suggestion sums up and concludes the review.

References

Duncan, I., Miller, A. & Jiang, S.  (2012), S. A taxonomy of virtual worlds usage in education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(6), 949-964.

Dunleavy, M., Dede, C. & Mitchell, R. (2009). Affordances and limitations of immersive participatory augmented reality simulations for teaching and learning. Journal  of Science Education and Technology, 18(1), 7-22.

Falloon, G, (2010). Using avatars and virtual environments in learning: What do they have to offer? British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(1), 108-122.

Gerstein, J. (2009). Beyond the game: Quest Atlantis as an online learning experience for gifted elementary students. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 2(1), 2-18.

Hew, K. F & Cheung, W. S. (2010). Use of three-dimensional (3-D) immersive virtual worlds in K-12 and higher education settings: A review of the research. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(1), 33-55.

Kerawalla, L, Luckin, R., Seljeflot, S. & Woolard, A. (2006). “Making it real”: exploring the potential of augmented reality for teaching primary school science. Virtual Reality, 10(3),163-174.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, literature review
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-11543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-11543DiVA: diva2:1060624
Conference
The European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, August 22-26, 2016
Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2016-12-29Bibliographically approved

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