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Draft – originally published in: Ebner, Martin (2022). Introduction to ‘The Future
of Learning', in: Michael E. Auer, Andreas Pester, Dominik May (Eds.), Learning
with Technologies and Technologies in Learning. Experience, Trends and Chal-
lenges in Higher Education, Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, Volume 45,
Cham: Springer, pp. 3-5.
Section 1: The Future of Learning
Abstract: This section deals with the “future of learning” and asked for contribu-
tions dealing with meta-studies ore forecasts. This is not a simple task because we
all know from the pandemic that changes are unpredictable sometimes. Anyway,
we are very happy that seven groups of researchers out of more than 23 proposals
tried to give us insights to their research. Those 7 publications deal with different
topics – meta studies, Social Interaction and communication, Open Educational
Resources, Augmented and Virtual Reality.
1. Introduction to the section
In this section of the book, we aim to think about the future of education, which
can be seen as the future of teaching as well as the future of learning. Today we
are confronted with a world that has not only forced digital education but made it
necessary. The CoVid-19 pandemic forced educational institutions to use digital
technologies and to organize lessons exclusively online. Many experiences have
been gained, many infrastructures and equipment have been established or legal
frameworks for online teaching have been created. So, the question is, what does
the future hold? What will remain and change the (educational) world in the long
term? There are many (technical) topics on the agenda, such as Artificial Intelli-
gence, Micro-Credentials, Learning Analytics, or Open Educational Resources.
We use different designs of teaching and learning settings. We distinguish be-
tween blended, inverse blended, or hybrid learning. In the next few years, a signif-
icant increase in remote learning and teaching can be expected.
In this section, we call for contributions that take up the topic from a meta-per-
spective and try to reflect on the developments and effects of digital technologies
in education with a comprehensive view. Evaluations, surveys, studies can and
should show how we have to imagine education in the future. In summary 23 dif-
ferent proposals were submitted and we choose after a review process the 7 most
Martin Ebner, TU Graz, Educational Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Overview of sections’ publications
The section holds in summary seven different publications with a rather broad
range of topics. Nevertheless, digital technologies enhance teaching and learning
in nearly all situations. From just a kind of assistance in face-to-face situation to a
complete surrounding and immersive learning environment done by upcoming vir-
tual and augmented reality applications,
The first research work from Wannemacher et. al. titled “Reimagining the Future
of Higher Education Teaching” asks how the future might of Higher Education
might change because of the pandemic and present a meta-study of different trend
reports. They conclude that “the successful rapid conversion to digital teaching in
the semesters strongly influenced by the pandemic also shows that universities
still have a long way to go”.
In the second publication Suarez et al point out how Dual Educational Engineering
will develop towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It seems to be a great
challenge to “reduce complexity through simplification, hiding, and encapsulation
processes” to comply with the given SDGs from the United Nations.
The third publication is from Borukhovich-Weis et al and deals “Social Interaction
and Communication in Digital Learning Environments”. Communication in a digi-
tal way is essential, especially in a pure online environment and therefore we need
more research about it. The authors “derived recommendations for educators when
it comes to implementing online discussion forums in their learning environ-
ments” in their study.
In chapter four our research group presents the work about Open Educational Re-
sources and how a “Potential Impact of Open Educational Resources and Practices
for Good Teaching at Universities” can look like. On a practical example we point
out several initiatives of OER within a university and we can show effects on good
The last three chapters addressing all the augmented or virtual reality issues. An-
geloni et al. title “Augmented Reality and its use as a helping tool in Education”.
They asked 30 educators about their perception of technologies in classroom and
analysed seven different tools. Finally, they present the most suitable and appro-
priate on, which can be already used for daily teaching purposes.
In chapter six Gomes et al. present a study with of using Augmented Reality (AR)
in Medical Schools to understand the human body in a more effective way. The
researchers made a literature review and found 11 different use cases or examples
how AR can help in those situations. They concluded that “the use of three-dimen-
sional human body models along augmented reality made it possible to conduct
completely interactive classes, with students being able to interact and understand
different anatomical layers of the human body.”
The last chapter of this section from Kucera et al. deals with a “Learning Tool for
Phobia Handling Based on Virtual Reality”. The research work presents the pro-
cess of designing, developing, testing, and implementing a VR-application for this
special purpose of helping people suffering from phobias. They are able to show
that the application is not only an effective learning application, but also helps in
real life situations.