Augmenting Reality and Formality of Informal and Non-Formal Settings to Enhance Blended Learning: Open Article

Multicase-Study-REVISED

Schema of the analysis

Few days ago the Journal Transactions on Learning Technologies, edited by Dr. Peter Brusilovsky (Editor-in-Chief) and Mike Sharples (Associate Editor-in-Chief) published the April-June 2014 issue.

In this new issue you can find the article “Augmenting Reality and Formality of Informal and Non-Formal Settings to Enhance Blended Learning” that I wrote together with my PhD Advisor Davinia Hernández-Leo, and my colleagues Patricia Santos, Carlos Delgado Kloos and Josep Blat (thank you for your help and support).

Mar Perez-Sanagustin, Davinia Hernandez-Leo, Patricia Santos, Carlos Delgado Kloos, Josep Blat, “Augmenting Reality and Formality of Informal and Non-Formal Settings to Enhance Blended Learning,” IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 1-1, April-June 2014, doi:10.1109/TLT.2014.2312719

I’m specially glad about the publication of this article because it summarizes all the work that I did during my thesis. Here I leave the abstract. However, I recommend you to access the TLT Web page as soon as possible, since the article has been published in the home page and is now accessible for free to download.

Visits to museums and city tours have been part of higher and secondary education curriculum activities for many years. However these activities are typically considered “less formal” when compared to those carried out in the classroom, mainly because they take place in informal or non-formal settings. Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and smartphones can transform such informal and non-formal settings into digitally augmented learning settings by superimposing “digital” layers of information over physical objects or spaces. At the same time, the formality of these settings increases when connected to formal settings through these digital layers. The right combination of AR and mobile technologies with computer-based educational tools such as Learning Management Systems (LMSs) drives this digital connection, leading to articulated blended learning activities across formal, non-formal and informal settings. This paper contributes to the TEL field with: (1) three blended learning activities illustrating the idea of augmented informal/non-formal settings; (2) results from the cross-analysis of these activities that evidence the impact of technology to enhance blended learning; and (3) a set of lessons learned about the possibilities of NFC/GPS AR technologies and LMSs for blended learning. This work provides insights for the design and implementation of similar technology-enhanced blended learning activities.
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