Augmented reality and hypervideo combined: interactive technologies for improved procedural learning in vocational education and training
This project is mainly intended to ascertain whether a combination of hypervideo and augmented reality effectively improves procedural learning in vocational education and training. Analysis will first focus on the expected benefits of each tool and then on their actual impact on learning and motivation.
Hypervideo is a technology that allows users to interact with video content. It includes traditional playback options (e.g. pause, play, rewind and fastforward) as well as more innovative features such as indexes and chapters, interactive points providing access to more in-depth material, quizzes for self-assessment of learning progress and text annotation for personal or collaborative use. This technology has been extensively analysed over the years and has already proven effective in vocational education and training.
Augmented reality may be defined as the overlaying of additional content on reality; this can be achieved in many different ways using a variety of tools, including ordinary smartphones or wearable devices such as mixed reality smartglasses; there are also applications that can recognise where to position markers that prompt users to view additional information; other applications can recognise the shape of specific objects directly in the real world. While many studies have explored the use of augmented reality in educational contexts since 2011, few have considered the technical and pedagogical aspects of this technology.
Basing themselves on the premise that each of these two technologies offers specific affordances for vocational education and training - and in particular for procedural learning - researchers will explore how the combination of hypervideo and augmented reality can be used didactically to improve procedural learning. The latest version of ivideo.education software will be used to create hypervideos. At the same time, researchers will develop an augmented reality application that does not use markers and is based on a state-of-the-art wearable device (Microsoft HoloLens 2).
In the first phase of the project, a theoretical and practical analysis will be carried to determine which area of vocational education and training can most benefit from the introduction of these technologies. The theoretical part will consist of a review of the literature from both a didactic and technical perspective. The practical part will entail interviews with vocational school teachers, workplace trainers and branch course instructors in about ten different occupations covered by VET programmes. The first phase should enable researchers to identify two occupations that can serve as the basis for subsequent phases of the project.
In the second phase of the project, researchers will develop prototypes for both hypervideo and augmented reality. Specifically, researchers will develop software reflecting state-of-the-art programming in the area of augmented reality.
In the third phase of the project, researchers will analyse user experience (UX), focussing in particular on the usability of the two tools but also on psychological variables such as cognitive load and the sense of immersion in the experience.
In the fourth phase of the project, an experiment will be conducted whereby learners will be randomly assigned to three different groups: one learning with hypervideo, one learning with markerless augmented reality and a hand-held device and one learning with markerless augmented reality and a wearable device. The aim at this stage will be to assess learner performance, motivation and sense of immersion.
In the fifth phase of the project, a field experiment will be conducted using a design-based research approach. Two iterations will be carried out, analysing the same variables considered in the fourth phase.