Paper No. 181-12
Presentation Time: 11:45 AM
AUGMENTED REALITY SANDBOXES AS A TOPOGRAPHIC MAP TEACHING TOOL IN 100-LEVEL GEOLOGY CLASSES: MEASURING THE IMPACT ON STUDENT LEARNING AND CLASSROOM ENGAGEMENT
This study was designed to determine whether a new Geology 101 (introduction to physical geology) lab assignment that incorporated the use of an augmented reality sandbox as a learning tool was more effective than paper-based maps in teaching concepts of topographic concepts to undergraduate students. Topographic map concepts can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to student success in intro-level courses. Understanding and interpreting topographic maps requires mental 3-D visualization skills that intro-level undergraduate students often lack, and therefore teaching topographic maps effectively requires also teaching 3D visualization skills. The use of augmented reality (AR) sandboxes has recently become a popular classroom tool for creating and interpreting topographic maps, however it is still unclear whether AR sandboxes are actually effective in increasing student learning [e.g., Jackson et al., 2019]. For this study, we designed an assessment survey to gather information on student learning and classroom engagement and collected survey data from classes during fall semester 2018, which used the old lab assignment without the AR sandbox, and spring semester 2019, which used the new AR sandbox lab. We included pre-lab, post-lab, and follow-up knowledge surveys in both lab assignments, in order to measure potential knowledge gains and changes in classroom engagement associated with the AR sandbox lab assignment compared to the original lab. Initial results show an increase in student learning in labs that used the AR sandbox, when compared to the labs without the sandbox. Among students who did not use the AR sandbox in lab, knowledge gains were small: on only 3 questions (out of 12) on the surveys did the proportion of correct responses increase by more that 10% between pre-and post-lab surveys. The students who used the AR sandbox in lab showed much larger knowledge gains: the proportion of correct responses increased by more than 10% on 8 of survey questions. The labs using the AR sandbox also reported higher levels of interest and engagement.
Jackson, D. et al. (2019). J. Geosci. Ed., doi:10.1080/10899995.2019.1583786.