The Use of Augmented Reality in Informal Learning Environments

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Wednesday


Danielle Jackson, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Augmented Reality (AR) has seen a rise in popularity over the last several decades as the technologies required to develop AR-based tools have become more widespread and user-friendly (Billinghurst et al., 2015; Akçayır et al., 2016). AR encompasses technologies that augment natural feedback from the real environment with additional information (Milgram et al., 1994). These range from location-based games like Pokemon Go to informational geology apps like Rockd and Flyover Country. An especially popular example in the geosciences recently has been the AR Sandbox (KeckCaves, 2017), which has received a lot of attention for the role it may play in helping students learn about topographic maps, but the generating learning in addition to attention and engagement has proven challenging (e.g. Woods et al., 2016; Giorgis et al., 2017). Still, students consistently report a sense of engagement from using this AR tool in formal environments. That engagement is also a critical component of learning in informal environments, like parks and museums. That engagement can lead to increased attendance and enjoyment of these informal settings, as well as learning about a particular topic. However, little research has explored what visitors gain from AR experiences in informal environments (Goff et al., 2018). Here, we present an argument for the incorporation of AR in more informal environments, as well as suggestions for how these tools might successfully be used and their impact assessed.