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A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in Classrooms based on a Literature Review


Abstract and Figures

Virtual reality devices are not an invention of the previous years. In fact, those are applicable since the 60s and therefore many scholars have elaborated in the potential of virtual reality as a learning platform. There are many diverse ways to integrate these techniques into the classroom. Affordable devices in combination with concepts like making legitimate the usage for learning. Pedagogical motivation factors like collaborations and gamification amply justify the usage of modern VR technologies as a learning platform. A variety of application have been used already in classrooms but in higher education, there is a need to catch up. Those examples have been divided by the way they make use of virtual systems and how they provide supervision. This literature review describes the functional classification of virtual reality, how it typically applies to learning and how it represents the key features for a didactically valuable usage. As a result of the literature research, a framework for the use of mixed reality in education has been developed allowing to spot new capabilities for the implementation of future VR or AR applications. This paper will also clarify the proper direction of development and the potential impact on future educational domains.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in Classrooms based on a
Literature Review
Christopher Kommetter
Educational Technology, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Martin Ebner
Educational Technology, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Abstract: Virtual reality devices are not an invention of the previous years. In fact, those are
applicable since the 60s and therefore many scholars have elaborated in the potential of virtual
reality as a learning platform. There are many diverse ways to integrate these techniques into the
classroom. Affordable devices in combination with concepts like making legitimate the usage for
learning. Pedagogical motivation factors like collaborations and gamification amply justify the
usage of modern VR technologies as a learning platform. A variety of application have been used
already in classrooms but in higher education, there is a need to catch up. Those examples have
been divided by the way they make use of virtual systems and how they provide supervision. This
literature review describes the functional classification of virtual reality, how it typically applies to
learning and how it represents the key features for a didactically valuable usage. As a result of the
literature research, a framework for the use of mixed reality in education has been developed
allowing to spot new capabilities for the implementation of future VR or AR applications. This
paper will also clarify the proper direction of development and the potential impact on future
educational domains.
Augmented reality (AR) Applications, as well as virtual reality (VR), was developed around the same time
periods in the late 1960s where AR was considered as a gradual extension of VR (Cai, Chiang, & Wang, 2013). To
achieve a Virtual World experience, Head Mounted Displays using two CRT's1 (one for each eye) were developed
(Sutherland, 1968). In recent years, head-mounted display technology has been major improved. So-called VR
headsets as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, etc. make virtual reality available to the public (Sternig,
Spitzer, & Ebner, 2017). Especially when Google releases the Google Cardboard back in 2014 everyone can afford
the VR experience and the challenge presently becomes to discover possible ways of implementing this in an
educational sector (Boyles, 2017).
This research work is structured in three sections. To begin with, the research method will be described. In
the second part, the authors will give an overview of the continuum of mixed reality. The last part then presents the
results of the empirical research and also examples of the different implementations are shown in this review. The
authors will also explain how the examples are clustered. Studies will be presented as to indicate how the various
examples could scientifically prove to be used in educational purpose. Given examples on VR and AR technologies
used in educations are classified due to the output of the pedagogical concepts found in the literature. As a result of
all the shown examples, a couple of didactical concepts will present to underpin the usage of these in an educational
matter and furthermore the authors will present their developed framework as an outcome of the literature research.
In the conclusions, the authors are going to quote some thoughts on future work. The aim of this work is to gain a
clear idea of the potential of using virtual reality components in education. The authors will offer an overview of the
1 CRT: cathode-ray tube
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
significant technologies for supporting education. This research will furthermore declare the direction of
development in mixed reality items.
Research Design
Before actual reviewing didactical concepts, the authors must first clarify the consistent definition of virtual
reality (VR) and have to define the classification on VR systems. The various types of VR systems have been
clustered due to the definitions found in scholarly literature regarding the appropriate technology they were using.
The authors started searching on academic databases like ERIC, WebOfScience, ACM Digital Library and also
SpringerLink A search using Google Scholar was also performed. Search strings like "virtual reality", "VR",
"augmented reality", "mixed reality" and "AR" were used logical connection with the terms "classroom", "school",
"education" and "training" to gain results. A number of 213 papers were selected and been clustered in a second
analysis according to the kind of technology used. A number of these papers primarily examine technical
specifications and implementations, so they have been dropped for further analysis. The remaining ones have then
been reduced to those who are either describing use cases or pedagogical concepts.
Classification of mixed reality
Taxonomy of MR
Augmented and virtual reality is sometimes getting messed up, although AR systems are primarily
considered as a part of virtual reality. Augmented reality assumes the place between a completely computer
generated world (VR) and the real world because it is developed to overlay the real world by placing computer-
generated objects into real environments (Azuma, 1997; Zagoranski & Divjak, 2003). In contrast to virtual reality,
AR interfaces use handheld or head-mounted displays to see through or overlay graphics on video of the
surrounding world against other computer interfaces which draw users away from the surrounding world into a
virtual one (Billinghurst, 2002).
Figure 1: The Virtuality Continuum (VC) of Milgram defines the area between Real to Virtual environment as mixed reality,
where AR is supposed to augment the real world with virtual objects while AV is augmenting a virtual world with real-world
objects adopted from Milgram & Kishino (1994)
Milgram defined the area between the real word and a fully immersive world as a continuum where every
technology is succinctly summarized as mixed reality (figure 1). Augmented reality is one part of it. Augmented
virtuality (AV) as well as Virtual Environments (virtual reality), the environment surrounding a user is virtual in
contrast to AR where the environment is real (Azuma et al., 2001). In conclusion, mixed reality (MR) can be defined
as an interactive setting, where the user is either placed in the real world with virtual assets augmenting (AR) or in a
virtual world augmenting real-world objects (VR) (Hughes & Stapleton, 2005; Milgram & Kishino, 1994).
Augmented reality (AR)
AR, a 3D technology that fuses the physical and digital world in real time (Pasaréti et al., 2011), represent a
variety of virtual reality (Azuma, 1997). Users are able to interact in a seamless way with the virtual and computer-
generated images using real objects (Zhou, Duh, & Billinghurst, 2008). Natural operations within the real world
enable the users a seamless and real-time interaction with the virtual objects (Cai et al., 2013). AR would also be
able properly to apply to all senses, for now, its focus on sight to include virtual objects to a real environment
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
(Azuma, 1997). AR became popular to the public in 2016 because of the AR Game Pokèmon Go which was the
hype in the Summer of 2016 (Bonner & Reinders, 2018; Koll-Schretzenmayr & Casaulta-Meyer, 2016). AR
applications can be classified in marker-based, marker-less and location-based (Chen & Tsai, 2012). Pokèmon Go
would be a representative of a location-based AR system. Marker-based systems require labels containing a pattern
like a QR-Code whereas the third classification is typically based on the recognition of object shapes (Fotaris,
Pellas, Kazanidis, & Smith, 2017).
AR Application has been used for classroom-based learning within different subjects for appropriate K-12
education or higher but is not strongly represented in academic settings (Lee, 2012). But there are interests in
applying AR to universities even though the usage of these technologies does not lead to increased interaction
between students and the professor (Redó et al., 2008). Modern usage of AR integrated into real teaching
environments, like a lecture theatre, would at least allow students to experiment with virtual teaching material in an
engaging manner (Liarokapis & Anderson, 2010).
Virtual reality (VR)
The authors employ the term virtual reality as a synonym for augmented virtuality (AV) as shown above.
Unlike augmented reality, VR produces a world of its own, rather than expanding the real one. The dominant
features, according to Dede, Salzman, & Loftin (1996) of virtual worlds are:
Immersion: Users typically interact within a completely by computers generated world (Nooriafshar,
Williams, & Maraseni, 2004).
Telepresence: An Instructor, for example, can help remotely to find a solution for a given problem
(Spitzer, Nanic, & Ebner, 2018). Virtual reality technologies are capable to overlay an output from a 3D
Camera over the real world and are therefore capable to bridge over the practical limitations of traditional
video conferencing technologies like lack of spatial cues, limited screen space, and separation between real
and digital objects (Haller, 2004).
Multisensory simulation: This can support users to investigate things trough VR by relying on their senses
to promptly recognize phenomena (Salzman, Dede, Loftin, & Chen, 1999). User's hand motion can be
tracked by using special gloves (Theng, Lim Mei-Ling, Liu, & Cheok, 2007) to interact with the system
and then get instantaneous feedback on their interactions.
Motivation: Students genuinely enjoy the ability to move and handle with the object within an (immersive)
virtual world (Bricken & Byrne, 1992).
Multiple representations and 3D frames of reference: A user can decide which information will be
visible by viewing in a certain direction in order to alter the angle of view which helps to concentrate on the
desired object (Erickson, 1993).
Virtual reality systems can be categorized in five sections: (i) simulation-based, (ii) avatar image-based,
(iii) projector-based, (iv) desktop-based and (v) true immersive based VR (Nachimuthu & Vijayakumari, 2009).
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
Figure 2: Classification of virtual reality (VR) based on type of technology used to achieve virtual worlds and interact with them
adopted from Muhanna (2015)
Muhanna (2015) classified VR in two types, depending on the type of technology used and further on the level of
mental immersion. Figure 2 shows the classification of VR in two groups, basic and Enhanced, depending on the
technology being used. The separation of enhanced VR systems was classified according to the degree of
immersion. Immersion is a term for technology designed to make a user feel a sense of being a presence in a virtual
world (Southgate, 2018) and the scale how much the user feels to be in a virtual world is called the degree of
immersion (Bronsch, 2018). According to Muhanna (2015) immersion is one of the Key elements of virtual reality
experience. Immersion allows students to discover the surrounding in a natural way an, therefore, aids them to learn
by allowing them to construct concepts by their direct experience of the environment (Jackson & Fagan, 2000;
Winn, Windschitl, Fruland, & Lee, 2002). Fully immersive virtual reality can be realistically achieved using a
CAVE Environment (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment). Projectors, or multiple LCD Screens (CAVE2), are
constructing a virtual room by surrounding the walls around users. Users may also wear 3D-Glasses to enhance
immersion. Using a CAVE multiple users can interact within the same virtual room at the same time and share same
experiences (Boyles, 2017; Cruz-Neira, Sandin, & DeFanti, 1993; Manjrekar et al., 2014).
Results and discussion
Pedagogical context
One significant advantage of the use of virtual reality systems is the ability to animate object, respond by
the user's action and to break the borders on physical limitations of real objects (Woods et al., 2004). Virtual reality
can also enhance distance learning, due to interfaces supporting remote actions with other learners or teachers
connecting to existing objects (Mellet-d'Huart, 2012). AR can enhance the way students learn in a creative and
convenient way: for example, an ordinary building can be augmented with educational content, so that the students
would be able to read things while they remain the way of interaction with the environment as they were used to it
(Kaufmann, 2003). In this context, the operation site will be examined in the examples found in the literature, if
either the students used the setting at school or alone at home. Using it at school does not typically mean the
building, further is it used as a term for an educational setting with a present teacher, this could also be the case at an
Using fully immersive virtual worlds allows users interacting with objects in a natural way as they were
used to it (Winn, 1993), but users won't be able to share gestures. One essential issue with collaboration is that users
can see each other's facial expressions, gestures and body language which will increase communication
opportunities (Billinghurst & Kato, 1999). To increase a intend learning outcome, cooperative interactions with
adults and peers will help achieve that by exposing their peers thinking process, knowledge, and skills
(Thorsteinsson & Page, 2007). Augmented reality systems can establish that in contrast to a fully immersive VR
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
system. Students can see each other while they can see and virtual objects and interact with them. Among
Billinghurst and Kato (1999) AR systems offer besides the enhance of face-to-face collaboration also the ability for
a remote collaboration because they allow users to use traditional tools and workplace practices. However, there are
not many learning systems using AR designed for multi-user collaborations, instead they are currently designed that
one person is controlling the AR system while others are only observing via a shared display. A social interaction
between students within the same physical space should be a very important goal for an educational environment
(Roussos et al., 1999). Sternig et al. (2017) gave an example for combining making, a movement emerged in the last
years where children are supposed to create things by their own (Schön, Ebner, & Kumar, 2014), by building a
simple VR headset like the google cardboard. Using action-based learning can positively enhance the relationship
between reflection and action by working together (Wagner & Ip, 2009). Therefore, we are interested to determine
the scope of the used learning environments, if the pupils either been using the system on their own or if they use the
same virtual space for collaboration.
To increase student motivation, engagement and enjoyment on learning something, game-like elements can
be applied (Kavanagh et al., 2017). Such elements could be, for example, a ranking list where students get certain
points for an exercise and can then compete for each other. Through the use of Gamification, there is a
transformation from a teacher-centered learning environment to an activity-based approach with social interactions
(Jensen, 2017). This approach could be further applied on video games to make use of gamification for educational
purpose. Since the first video game was produced, the idea of learning while playing was present (Sternig et al.,
2017). Game-based learning environments attempt to motivate and challenge learners to solve problems and offer
playful access to gain knowledge and different knowledge concepts as well as competences (Zumbach & Moser,
2012). Virtual Worlds, like Second Life, offer a variety of Action Based Learning possibilities. Users can practice
behaviors, repeat them to gain practice and observe the outcome to adjust behaviors based on the outcomes (Wagner
& Ip, 2009). In such environments, students may not feel they are learning (Cheal, 2009). He also pointed out, that
some students concern about the validity of leaning in a game-like environment.
As augmented reality systems offer a new way to interact with computers, it allows users to interact with
object and events in a natural way, which gains the potential for the use as an educational tool (Kesim & Ozarslan,
2012). Although AR technology can be used in a wide range of domains, using it for educational experience is
different for a number of reasons, as Billinghurst (2002) mentioned:
Support of seamless interaction between real and virtual environments
The use of a tangible interface metaphor for object manipulation
The ability to transition smoothly between reality and virtuality
Physical activity is linked to conceptual understanding, and students can increase their learning outcome when they
use their hands to interact with scenes from an augmented story (Radu, 2014). Augmented reality systems can
establish such an interactive learning environment. AR provides students with a 3D view and continuously changing
content by interacting, increasing their interest in learning (Cai et al., 2013).
Although VR environments are largely self-explanatory, a guideline should be provided to the users in
order to ensure learning benefits (Mellet-d'Huart, 2012). This should provide the user with information on how to
use for example the controller. Combining the usage of an MR system with game-based learning concepts, easy
navigation is essential for being successful (Sternig et al., 2017). In order to portray the actual scenario in teaching
activities, the presence of a supervisor must be observed. A supervisor could either be next to the students or even
could be a part of the virtual environment either as virtual human or artificial intelligence.
Examples in teaching
In our research examples were categorized according to the used MR technology and it was noted in which
setting they were used. This are just selected examples. The aforementioned pedagogical approaches were recorded.
Level of
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
School &
1:n instructor in real world guides pupils
Anatomy 4D
and similar
School &
At home
1:n teacher is present in real world;
instructions within the application are
served without any AI2
1:1 teacher control parts of the system
Studierstube &
single or
1:1, 1:n teacher is present in real
environment next to student(s)
single or
1:n typically school setting where a
teacher in real environment is guiding
Second Life
At home
1:n in virtual word, avatar controlled by
a human
Vicher I and II
1:1, Instructions in a virtual welcome
center, fully computer-generated without
1:n teacher in real environment guides
Table 1: Literature examples categorized
AR based systems
There is a variable number of Applications using AR or VR made for the educational market. The free iOS
and Android Application called HP Reveal (formerly called Aurasma) uses trigger images and overlays them with
augmented elements like images, videos, websites and 3D object as seen in figure 3 (Panciroli, Macauda, & Russo,
2018). Students, for example, could take pictures of anything, e.g. Buildings, and overlay them with educational
material such as videos (Bonner & Reinders, 2018; Buchner, 2017a). Besides the Application also an Online portal
is offered, where, for example, a teacher can prepare any so-called auras and the students can then subscribe to the
teacher's channel and will then be able to use them. A similar APP is called blippar (Bonner & Reinders, 2018;
Stankovi'c, 2015). Both mobile applications are ascribable to AR and both of them were developed back in 2011.
The field of application is restricted to schools or field trips, e.g. school trip to a museum, and needs a teacher to
prepare AR materials and to guide pupils on the usage of this technique. Each student operates the given tasks using
an own device to enhance his surroundings.
Using the App Anatomy 4D students are able to augment a human body in life size to the room as figure 4
shows. With the application, they are able to have a look into a human body as a kind of an AR T-shirt which allows
selecting layers like muscles or nerves (Buchner, 2017b). The user can freely move around the augmented human
body and can, therefore, control the desired angle of view. Most parts of this application are self-explaining.
However, a teacher is supposed to give students instructions tasks to fulfill using the application on their own.
Due to the fact, that most virtual reality systems are specially made to fit the need of a single, specific
domain, researchers at the Technical University of Vienna started working on Studierstube trying to describe how to
use an AR-based media in general environment (Schmalstieg et al., 2002). Users wear a see-through head-mounted
display (HMD) to collaboratively view 3D models augmented onto the real world and can freely move around. To
interact they can make use of Personal Interaction Panels (PIP) which is according to user reports a very intuitive
interface and conducive to real-world collaboration (Szalavári, Schmalstieg, Fuhrmann, & Gervautz, 1998). Based
on Studierstube Construct3D was created and this tool has been already used on teaching geometry and mathematics
in secondary education (Kaufmann, 2011; Kaufmann & Schmalstieg, 2002; Kaufmann, Schmalstieg, & Wagner,
2000). Construct3D allows teachers and students to collaborate within interactive scenarios (Liarokapis & Anderson,
2 AI: artificial intelligence
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
2010) and fits the category of the game based learning to teach geometric construction education (Leitão, Rodrigues,
& Marcos, 2014).
Figure 3 left: Example of using the APP HP Reveal (former Aurasma) on augmenting real object like schoolbooks or printed
papers as a trigger image with multimedia content like Videos, Pictures, 3D Objects or Websites
Figure 4 right: Anatomy 4D is a free APP using augmented reality which allows students to interact with a virtual human body
augmented into the room using an iPad as a handheld display (HHD)
Another AR Project is MARIE (Multimedia Augmented Reality Interface for E-Learning) with the Aim of
to enhance the teaching and learning process using an augmented reality e-learning environment (Liarokapis,
Petridis, Lister, & White, 2002). These authors note that augmented reality is more effective than virtual
environments when comparing price, real-time augmentation, and interactivity.
VR based systems
MagicBook is a mixed reality environment which cannot be clearly assigned to either VR or AR
(Billinghurst, Kato, & Poupyrev, 2001b). It is able to create a seamless transition along the Virtuality Continuum
(figure 1) Billinghurst, Kato and Poupyrev (2001a) developed the MagicBook. The MagicBook looks like a normal
textbook or storybook and can for sure be used as such. When users look at the pages of the book through a Head-
mounted Display (HMD) or a Handheld Display (HHD), 3D object and virtual scenes look like to sit on the page
(Cho, Lee, Lee, & Yang, 2007). HHD or HMD along a computer and at least one physical book remain the three
core components of the Magic Book (Billinghurst et al., 2001b). Users can turn the book around or move around the
book to alter the angle of view (Zumbach & Moser, 2012) as known from HP Reveal. When users want to
concentrate on a certain scene, they simply fly into the page by decreasing the distance between the Head and the
book and can then experience it as an immersive virtual environment (Cai et al., 2013). This allows students to read
together and see the virtual object from their own viewpoint and can fly into the virtual space individual and see
others than as an avatar in the virtual story space (Billinghurst et al., 2001a).
Second Life is a virtual social space allowing users to connect with each other and play together. Academic
institutes started to use Second Life (SL), due to its popularity and 3D environmental structure, for training. SL
offers a high degree of customizability which makes the usage as a learning environment a logical step (Taylor &
Chyung, 2008). A lecturer can operate a virtual campus to teach using PowerPoint for example and participants can
join in real-time and interact with each other (Laws, Forsyth, & Baskett, 2009) in a virtual environment represented
by avatars. In Contrast to other MUVE (massive multiplayer virtual environment), Second Life was a subject for
instruction and instructional support in higher education in many studies and articles over the year 2009 (Brown &
Green, 2009). Due to the fact that the students among each other, as well as the teacher, are only interacting with
each other in a virtual world, it's not possible to share expressions and gestures with each other.
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
Vicher (Virtual Chemical Reaction Module), a virtual reality based simulator, was developed at the
University of Michigan Chemical Engineering Department for undergraduate chemical kinetics and reactor design
education (Bell & Fogler, 1995, 1996). Vicher provides a fully immersive virtual. A User evaluation has shown that
users more accurate and more proper understanding of engineering concepts and 80 % felt they had learned
something of the experience (Youngblut, 1998). To eliminate any ambiguity, a Welcome Center, implemented as a
virtual room, familiarizes the user with the scope of all possibilities to interact with the system (Bell & Fogler, 1995,
1996, 1998; Youngblut, 1998) as a form of interactive tutorials within the immersive virtual world.
The 1994 developed virtual world ScienceSpace consists of three applications: NewtonWorld,
MaxwellWorld, and PaulingWorld to simulate physical phenomenon's (C. Dede, Salzman, & Bowen Loftin, 1996).
In NewtonWorld a student can learn about the Laws of Motion by interacting with the virtual world using his hand
(Boas, 2013). MaxwellWorld would help students obtaining a view if the electric field produced by a charge
configuration (Salzman et al., 1999). PaulingWorld is designed to be a research tool as well as a teaching tool to
examine the structure of molecules from a certain angle of view (C. Dede et al., 1996).
Framework for mixed reality use in education
As a result of the found examples in literature, a framework was developed to cluster given mixed reality
applications for the usage in an educational setting. Thus it is possible to spot new capabilities for the
implementation of future VR or AR applications in classrooms. Figure 5 gives an overview on the framework,
where the first part defines a categorization of the type of mixed reality used on basis of the definition above. A
further subdivision of a MR application is, according to the framework, given by the site of operation. Typically,
this kind of applications are assumed to be used either in a classroom or any other setting where a teacher is present.
However, an educational MR implementation could also be designed to be used at home without any educator.
Besides the operation site, the teaching method needs to be specified. Mixed reality programs could be established to
be used in groups, alone or in pairs. Students can either have to fulfill a simple task using a MR domain by assisting
or enhancing their environment or they can even do a full learning experience where an application is replacing their
common learning setting with mixed reality. The last segment of the framework defines the type of supervision. An
instructor can either be present within the virtual world as an avatar controlled by a teacher, for example, or even
been controlled by any kind of artificial intelligence. But the teacher could also be present in the real world to guide
students. Therefore, the relation between tutor and learner needs to be observed, if either a teacher guides a group of
students (1:n) at the same time, or only one student (1:1).
Figure 5: Framework for mixed reality use in education, examples in table 1 are examined according this framework
The selected examples recorded in table 1 are examined according to the framework build by the authors
(see figure 5). Remembering the example of the AR application HP Reveal (Aurasma) it can be shown that this has
been used within classrooms and excursions and therefore the operation site was classified as “school”. Each student
used their own mobile device to complete several tasks. Therefore, the teaching method is in this case “single” and
the level of pervasion was defined as “enhancing”. A teacher issues instruction to the whole class in real world next
to the students, so supervision is specified as “1:n by teacher in real world”. Second Life on the other hand side
Operation site
Level of
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
Classrooms based on a Literature Review. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning
(pp. 901-911). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Retrieved July 14, 2019 from
makes use of VR technology. Learners use this application at home and participate in courses in a group, so
operation site is “home” and teaching method is “group”. By the fact, that students use Second Life on learning
whole new things instead of just fulfill some tasks to retain new knowledge, level of pervasion could be defined as
“enhancing”. A course leader is present within the virtual world as a human controlled avatar instruction the whole
group at the same time, therefore supervision is “1:n by virtual teacher controlled by human”.
Most of the examples shown require any kind of instruction, as table 1 shows. Most time a teacher was
present in the real world next to the students for supervision either for one student (1:1) or for a group of students
(1:n). A few examples used any kind of virtual guidance, but none of them used an automatic tool to instruct
students. Even full immersive virtual worlds which are used to help students solve complex tasks need a teacher to
be present. A kind of AI in form of an avatar, like in Second Life human-driven, could improve a virtual
environment through the ability to individually assist each student. Therefore, a usage beyond a school-setting could
be established. Also, the availableness of cheap VR Headsets presents a step forward in this direction to make use of
VR as learning platform instead of an only entertaining one.
Conclusion and outlook on future work
During the review, the authors discovered that newer papers addressed AR systems. This could be due to a
change in research from augmented virtuality System to augmented reality ones. AR applications, as the MagicBook
shown formerly, could be easily be realized and can enhance a traditional schoolbook for example on showing 3D
visualizations of the teaching content (Zumbach & Moser, 2012). MagicBook is capable of providing transmission
from a real world to a fully immersive virtual world over the entire continuum of mixed reality. An easy to use AR
enhanced schoolbook can, for example, be achieved by using the APP HP Revival. An AR learning environment can
be implemented more cost-effectively than a VR system and also the effort of designing learning material can be
moderate compared to VR (Chen & Tsai, 2012). Among the usability of software and interfaces, Bricken (1991)
addresses cost and fears about technology as a challenge for the use of VR in educational settings. Virtual reality
systems have a chicken and egg problem, cause it takes a huge amount of time to create content to make a system
for teaching and this content is not generated until there are enough systems developed to make use of it (Allison &
Hodges, 2000).
The authors also mentioned that interaction degree and further the learning motivation is more pronounced
on using AR instead of VR. AR also increases creativity and grasping the power of the mind (Gurjar & Somani,
2016). Future work can build on this to generate a framework for creating effective educational AR Applications.
Furthermore, changes in the interface to fit the needs of students for interacting with the system as Shelton & Hedley
(2004) pointed out, should be part of further research. AR would also be capable of being used in multi-user settings
in classrooms and auditoriums, little has been researched on this topic (Shelton & Hedley, 2004). There is still a
need for research to investigate purposes of the use of AR in lecture halls. Modern equipment, as well as fast
network connections, make augmented reality systems capable to be used as multi-user settings in lectures.
Although AR and VR systems are not as common in higher education, they have been used for training in the
military sector and also the NASA is adopting this technology for training and preparation for technicians for many
years (Pantelidis, 1997). Didactical concepts of this form of andragogy could be served as a basis for further
research on applying virtual reality systems to higher education.
This activity has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body
of the European Union, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Further information about MiReBook:
Draft originally published in: Kommetter, C. & Ebner, M. (2019). A Pedagogical Framework for Mixed Reality in
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... The possibilities of these tools lead to a tremendous potential as a learning platform. A variety of studies explain some of the many ways to integrate these technologies into the classroom [1]. Especially in the mining engineering sector and its education system, the industry had to face massive changes over the past few years. ...
... This framework offers tools, methods, examples, and technologies that bring Mixed Reality into mining education [2]. Research shows, despite already finding use in today's classrooms, MR has still not found its way into the tertiary education sector fully [1]. In addition to that, formal evaluations of MR applications have only been a topic for researchers for a few years by now [5]. ...
... Within the last years, techniques are finding their way into the educational sector more and more [11]. However, MR is still not widely acknowledged by teachers in the tertiary educational sector [1]. ...
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Mixed Reality technologies are on the rise in the educational sector. However, research shows that there is still a lack in knowledge concerning the evaluation of these technologies. In this paper we present a research on current practices in evaluation for Mixed Reality. For this purpose, we selected 94 publications from between 2015 and 2021 and reduced them to 45 which included formal evaluation processes. We then adapted a classification scheme by Duenser et al. [5] and categorized these papers according to their evaluation methods. We present our overall findings and explain some examples more detailed. The results are then compared to previous work outside and within the MiReBooks project and applied on the didactical framework. This allows us to illustrate the development of this sector over the last years and it helps us to enhance our own evaluation approaches. First results also show that there is a rise in evaluation approaches recently and that the overall goals for these processes did not change much from 2008.
... Universities were the next highest category (32%); the diversity of majors makes content development harder. Vocational schools (13%) had the fewest MR systems (Chief et al., 2018), , (Dalinger et al., 2020), (Quint et al., 2015), (Pellas et al., 2020), (Yannier et al., 2020), (Touel et al., 2020), (Knierim et al., 2018), (Fiore et al., 2014), (Lindgren et al., 2016), (Fotouhi-Ghazvini et al., 2011), (Leonard & Fitzgerald, 2018), (Chang et al., 2010), (Chen & Duh, 2018), (Weng et al., 2019), (Duan et al., 2020), (Dascalu et al., 2014), (Horst & Dorner, 2018), (Mateu et al., 2015), (Holstein et al., 2018), (Lindgren & Moshell, 2011), (Ghosh, 2016), (Zakharov et al., 2020), (Maas & Hughes, 2020), (Mateu et al., 2014), (Ke et al., 2016) 2 Universities or higher education 15 (Vasilevski & Birt, 2020), (Quint et al., 2015), (Kommetter & Ebner, 2019), (Tang et al., 2020), (Campbell et al., 2017), (Birt et al., 2018), (John & Kurian, 2019), (Martín-Gutiérrez & Contero, 2011), (Chen & Duh, 2018), (Horst & Dorner, 2018), (Kucera et al., 2018), (Hoffmann et al., 2016), (Ghosh, 2016), (Zakharov et al., 2020), (Mateu et al., 2014) 3 Vocational schools 6 , (Quint et al., 2015), (Hauze et al., 2019), (Garzotto et al., 2019), (Nicola & Stoicu-Tivadar, 2018), (Antoniou et al., 2017) Total Table 6 The purpose of having a mixed reality system No Purpose Volume References 1 Experience learning 7 , , (Dalinger et al., 2020), (Quint et al., 2015), (Chang et al., 2010), (Lindgren & Moshell, 2011), (Zakharov et al., 2020) 2 Improve learning outcomes 6 (Vasilevski & Birt, 2020), (Fiore et al., 2014), (Lindgren et al., 2016), (Tang et al., 2020), (Lindgren & Moshell, 2011), (Campbell et al., 2017) 3 Risk-free and complex experiment 6 (Chief et al., 2018), (Hauze et al., 2019), (Weng et al., 2019), (Duan et al., 2020), (Zakharov et al., 2020), (Quint et al., 2015) 4 Skills development 6 , (Dalinger et al., 2020), (Quint et al., 2015), (Birt et al., 2018) (Knierim et al., 2018), (Hauze et al., 2019) 5 Cost-effective 5 (Touel et al., 2020), (Nicola & Stoicu-Tivadar, 2018), (Horst & Dorner, 2018), (Ghosh, 2016), (Zakharov et al., 2020) 6 Increase motivation and engagement 5 (Pellas et al., 2020), (Chen & Duh, 2018), (Lindgren et al., 2016), (Fiore et al., 2014), (Yannier et al., 2020) because in vocational schools, they have not utilized technology as much as others and are more focused on hands-on practice. RQ3. ...
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Mixed reality has been gaining traction lately and has been used in areas such as education, engineering, and architecture, among others. Education is an important part of our lives, and we must prepare the best education possible for the next generation. To support that, the teaching and learning process must be adjusted to match the current cohort of learners for whom the traditional teaching and learning process is no longer effective. Using mixed reality systems for teaching and learning will provide more experience during learning and increase the learning outcomes for students. The objective of this systematic literature review is to give a holistic view of mixed reality systems in education, starting from how they are used and implemented, to how their efficacy is measured. This SLR paper uses the Kitchenham methodology and has seven research questions related to mixed reality systems in education, with 99 articles in total having been collected from January 2021 to February 2022 and reviewed according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria; as a result, 40 articles were selected.
... This attempt to systemise VR terminology predominantly comes from our scoping review. However, we have also consulted broader literature, including immersive education (Kommetter & Ebner, 2019), urban design (Shakibamanesh, 2015) and even dentistry research (Al-Musawi et al 2017). It is evident that the debate around the taxonomy of VR is not as new as one might expect, however, it evolves and changes continuously. ...
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Purpose Recent work could further improve the use of VR technology by advocating the use of psychological theories in task design and highlighting certain properties of VR configurations and human – VR interactions. The variety of VR technology used in the trials prevents us from establishing a systematic relationship between the technology type and its effectiveness. As such, more research is needed to study this link, and our piece is an attempt to shed a spotlight on the issue. Design/methodology/approach To explore recent developments in the field, the authors followed the procedures of scoping review by Savickaite et al. (2022) and included publications from 2021 to 2022. Findings In this updated analysis, it was clear that the research themes emerging over the last two years were similar to those identified previously. Social training and intervention work still dominates the research area, in spite of recent calls from the autism community to broaden the scientific understanding of neurodivergent experiences and daily living behaviours. Although, autism is often characterised by difficulties with social interactions, it is just one part of the presentation. Sensory differences, motor difficulties and repetitive behaviours are also important facets of the condition, as well as various wider aspects of health, wellbeing and quality of life. However, many of these topics appear to be understudied in research on VR applications for autism. Originality/value VR stands out from other representational technologies because of its immersion, presence and interactivity and has grown into its own niche. The question of what constitutes a truly immersive experience has resurfaced. We can no longer deny that VR has established itself in autism research. As the number of studies continues to grow, it is a perfect time to reconsider and update our notion of definitions of immersion and its reliance on hardware.
... Related with the top 2 benefits, which are, better learning engagement and more interaction led to the increment of student motivation. With better visualization from the mixed reality system and combining with gamification, student motivation is increased [12]. With the MR system, students can offer an experience that immerses the students in active learning and can boost the essential motivation level of students because of highly engaging challenges and feedback [20] The effectiveness of MR for teaching appears to be due to its capacity to immerse students in a fun environment and arouse their curiosity which leads to a better understanding and motivation [15]. ...
... Virtual technologies can improve students' academic performance and motivation, e.g. [65], [66], [71]- [75], [77], [78], [89]- [91], students' social and collaborative skills [91] [92], and students' psychomotor and cognitive skills [94]. Among them VR and AR have long been a popular design space for educational technology, and recently, MR also increasingly applied for educational use [74], [95]. ...
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laboratories are essential to the education process in all fields of engineering, technology has changed the scientific laboratory landscape. The role of using Extended Reality (XR) technology after the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, the virus had affecting almost all countries concurrently, resulting in an economic crisis, the education sector was the most affected as students could not go to the laboratory to conduct experiments due to the containment of the disease. From this point on, the use of virtual laboratories became a great and effective role for students and the university, as it cost little in the budget compared to the real laboratory. In this paper, the role of virtual laboratories, using extended reality technology, and its impact on education and the future of virtual training in increasing students' efficiency will be discussed in this paper.
In this chapter, we will combine existing concepts and frameworks from both research on virtual reality as a media and research on teaching methodology. We will combine our findings to present a new framework for planning and organizing learning activities in virtual reality (VR). There is a wide variety of pedagogical theories and frameworks available, but they are quite seldom thoroughly utilized in work on virtual reality for learning. VR has now been evolving technically and creatively for many decades. Even though it has been slow in widespread adoption, we believe that the area of VR for learning is now mature enough to be properly supported by contemporary pedagogical frameworks. After going through first the basics of VR, as well as Laurillard’s learning patterns, we will present our suggested framework and use it on two case studies.
Mixed reality as a tool for teaching has made only limited use of its possibilities so far. However, it brings a plethora of new opportunities, with benefits ranging from interactivity to more vividness. These factors could improve numerous areas of teaching. The mining sector would benefit from new methods combined with mixed reality especially. Therefore, the MiReBooks project was launched: Various applications have been developed that can vividly present content using 3D models, virtual field trips and other methods. To verify and further improve these tools, an evaluation phase was conducted. During two test lectures in distance learning, a total of 23 participants answered a posttest questionnaire. The results showed that the teaching quality could be maintained well by the mixed reality application even in distance learning. Students were satisfied with the methods used, attributed good usability to the tool, and felt integrated into the classroom. At the same time, the team realized that the quality of the lesson depends heavily on the quality of the materials and the expertise of the lecturer. It also became clear that other factors, such as the technical infrastructure and support, are particularly important in this format.KeywordsMixed RealityEvaluation for Mixed RealityUser EvaluationEvaluation Methods First Section
The process of bridging the gap between reality and virtual data has been possible through exponential technologies such as Mixed Reality (MR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). MR has so far proffered numerous advantages ranging from communication, navigation, medical aid, data modelling, visualization, and education to remote accessibility across diverse platforms. This paper proposes a systematic framework for knowledge acquisition and synthesis through MR based constructivism learning theory. The methodology uses a bottom-up approach and is based upon the Dryfus modelling. The existing drawbacks of poor learning retention, interactive knowledge acquisition and synthesis are addressed based upon MR technology. The framework provides the basis for embedding MR technology into analyzing and enabling human practical knowledge, as well as extending the scope for knowledge acquisition to rediscover the learning process in educational environments. Furthermore, existing MR based solutions for learning theories are reviewed. The validation of the proposed framework is carried out using technology acceptance model. The real-time knowledge acquisition device embedded with MR technology is explored and enhanced to demonstrate the accuracy and efficacy of the proposed framework.
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The widespread use of chatbots is a reality and their application in higher education is promising. Understanding higher education users’ expectations for the use of chatbots in education is important for the design and development of new solutions. The present investigation documents how higher education users envision the pedagogical uses of chatbots in higher education, and how experts in the domain of education chatbots perceive the potential benefits and challenges related to the use of chatbots in education. A qualitative inquiry was undertaken based on 22 semi-structured interviews with higher-education students and instructors, and experts from the fields of Artificial Intelligence and educational chatbots. Based on our findings, the envisioned pedagogical uses of chatbots can be categorized in terms of chronological integration into the learning process: prospective, on-going, and retrospective. Under each one of those higher-order categories, specific learning domains can be supported (i.e., cognitive, affective), besides administrative tasks. Benefits and challenges foreseen in the use of pedagogical chatbots are presented and discussed. The findings of this study highlight the manner in which higher-education users envision the use of chatbots in education, with potential implications on the creation of specific pedagogical scenarios, accounting also for the learning context, chatbot technology, and pedagogies that are deemed appropriate in each scenario.
Indeed, the 21st-century dynamic and competitive employment and labor market require Higher Education (HE) graduates to be equipped with a substantial degree of knowledge and skills. Comparable to knowledge, skills can be domain-specific or domain-general. Both types of skills are crucial for a well-crafted HE program graduate. To provide students with key skills and the chance to test, experience, and integrate them, institutions should not merely rely on short work placements and industrial training programs. Students should be given the opportunity to sharpen their competencies, acquire, and develop the right skills, technical and non-technical, throughout their study life. Virtual reality, as a revolutionary technology, can support achieving that. In this paper, a web-based environment enhanced with VR framework is proposed to enable students to increase their knowledge, experiences, and gain employability skills progressively for the duration of their study journey. The environment, accessible starting from the first year, provides the students with the opportunity to be engaged with a professional setting and immersed in interactive experiences to gradually, effectively, and affordably experiment concepts, enhance their skills and develop new ones.
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This article aims to provide teachers with a practical introduction to the capabilities of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) in foreign language education. We first provide an overview of recent developments in this field and review some of the affordances of the technologies. This is followed by detailed outlines of a number of activities that teachers can use in any ESL classroom with access to smartphones or AR/VR capable devices. The article concludes with consideration of privacy concerns, and practical issues of classroom implementation.
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Different national and international researches have stressed relevant aspects concerning the application of augmented reality in formal and non-formal educational contexts, especially at school and in museums. In fact, augmented reality plays a meaningful role in the relationship between technologies and didactic mediation; its applications are the prerequisite for an augmented learning, through the reproduction of specific scenarios which go beyond the pure theoretical dimension. More specifically the present contribution aims to set out an option for a reflection on the relationship between art education and augmented reality technologies from the didactic mediation point of view, with reference to a shared and collaborative construction of knowledge of artistic and cultural heritage.
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With the everyday growth of technology, new possibilities arise to support activities of everyday life. In education and training, more and more digital learning materials are emerging, but there is still room for improvement. This research study describes the implementation of a smart glasses app and infrastructure to support distance learning with WebRTC. The instructor is connected to the learner by a video streaming session and gets the live video stream from the learner’s smart glasses from the learner’s point of view. Additionally, the instructor can draw on the video to add context-aware information. The drawings are immediately sent to the learner to support him to solve a task. The prototype has been qualitatively evaluated by a test user who performed a fine-motor-skills task and a maintenance task under assistance of the remote instructor.
Conference Paper
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Augmented Reality game-based learning (ARGBL) is quickly gaining momentum in the education sector worldwide as it has the potential to enable new forms of learning and transform the learning experience. However, it remains unclear how ARGBL applications can impact students' motivation and performance in primary education. This study addresses that topic by providing a systematic review, which analyses and critically appraises the current state of knowledge and practice in the use of ARGBL applications in primary education. In total, seventeen (17) studies that used either qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods to collect their data were analysed and were published between 2012 and 2017. The study results indicated that ARGBL applications are mainly used to document the design and development process, as well as to share preliminary findings and student feedback. Based on a comprehensive taxonomy of application areas for AR in primary education, ARGBL can potentially influence the students' attendance, knowledge transfer, skill acquisition, hands-on digital experience, and positive attitudes in laboratory experimental exercises for different courses. This review aims to offer new insights to researchers and provide educators with effective advice and suggestions on how to improve learning outcomes, as well as increase students' motivation and learning performance by incorporating this instructional model into their teaching.
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Josef Buchner analysiert das konkrete Tätigkeitsfeld der medienpädagogischen Arbeit mit Augmented Reality im Geschichtsunterricht und diskutiert neben ihrer wissenschaftlichen Reflexion auch praktische Tools für die Unterrichtspraxis ...
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With the introduction of Google Cardboard, a combination of mobile devices, Virtual Reality (VR) and making was created. This “marriage” opened a wide range of possible, cheap Virtual Reality applications, which can be created and used by everyone. In this chapter, the potential of combining making, gaming and education is demonstrated by evaluating an implemented math-game prototype in a school by pupils aged 12-13. The aim of the virtual reality game is to solve math exercises with increasing difficulty. The pupils were motivated and excited by immerging into the virtual world of the game to solve exercises and advance in the game. The results of the evaluation were very positive and showed the high motivational potential of combining making and game-based learning and its usage in schools as educational instrument.