The cooperation with Primary School Trnjanska on Augmented Reality Learning Experience (ARLE) experiments continued in school year 2016/2017. During the spring semester of 2016/2017, the focus was on research of the differences between „classic“ digital lessons on tablets (as much as anything can be called such in the context of tablets) which are exclusively virtual and lessons where tablets recognise objects in the space where the activity is being performed in order to augment the reality for the students and tie together the virtual world (in which the young generations today are virtuosos) and the real world around them.
The scope of the lessons covered by ARLEs was expanded, and so students of 3rd and 4th grade had opportunity to learn about the great men of Croatian history in 19th century through first a classic presentation on their tablet followed by a game where the tablet gave them descriptions of persons which they had to recognise and find their portrait in the class and show it to the tablet. The lesson was so successful that the students continued working far longer than expected – up until the bell rang – and developed an informal competition amongst themselves in how many questions they could successfully answer. The teachers enjoyed that as normally they find it difficult to engage students in learning in lessons which are heavily fact-recollection based.
As well, for the Nature and Society class the existing ARLEs were improved with new functionalities thus improving the ARLEs for recycling, for traffic signs learning and for how to prepare for the summer. Focus group interviews were also held, whereby students showed their enthusiasm for the lessons in which they „run in class“, which are something completely different to their usual in-class assignments and therefore perceived as play rather than school tasks.
The subject of mathematics was not ignored neither – the popular “little papers” (markers with which the tablet can recognise the student-proposed solution) returned. With the “little papers” (markers with number ranges the pupils have learned – the lessens were for 1st and 2nd grade) the students solved tasks appropriate for their level. While all liked the “run in class” approach, there were pupils which enjoyed the “little papers” more as it forced them to find the correct papers for the answer while working on their own tempo.
The series of experiments ended with a look to the future – a lesson on the upcoming summer. While the students will enjoy their well-earned break during the summer, at FER we plan to analyse the collected data to determine advantages of the AR-driven approach. Overall, for the researchers at FER the experience of working with the teachers and students of Primary School Trnjanska was inspiring and we are very thankful to them for the collaboration.