IET Technology Coffee Morning - Location-based learning: education in the Wild


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Slides presented at the IET Technology Coffee Morning at the Open University.

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  • Mobile communications are taken for granted – we assume we can talk to people at any time from almost anywhere – beginning to see it as normal that we can also access information, take photos, record our thoughts with one device and share these with colleagues, friends and the wider world.We will explore how this has been done and offer support for those who want to do it themselves
  • The aim of the Walk is to engage and educate the audience. By discussing and defining ‘educate’ with the historians we settled on three objectives 1/ To improve historical ‘literacy’ about the Reform Riots in Nottingham, asking: What happened in the period of the riots? (original questionnaire 2, 4 & 5; new questionnaire ) 2/ To encourage empathy with historical subjects as a specific kind of historical knowledge/understanding, asking: What were this period and these events like for different kinds of people? (original questionnaire 2, 5, 6 & 7 a, b & c; new questionnaire ) .3/ To encourage conclusions to be drawn through evaluating conflicting historical interpretations: What can we conclude from how these events and their causes were viewed from differing perspectives? (original questionnaire 2, 5 & 7d; new questionnaire ) . From the historians’ perspective, these levels of historical understanding have a hierarchical relationship, in that level 1 must be attained before level 2, and level 2 before level 3.
  • But remains untested with real users or teachers
  • IET Technology Coffee Morning - Location-based learning: education in the Wild

    1. 1. Location-based learning: education in the wild Elizabeth FitzGerald Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University
    2. 2. Our story today…• Beginning – Introduction to me and my research – Introduction to mobile and contextual learning• Middle – Augmenting the visitor experience – Audio narratives in location• End – Ad hoc learning in location – User-generated content for anytime/anyplace learning
    3. 3. Who am I?• An educational technology researcher• Biology graduate; ex-school teacher; PhD Computer Science; research fellow at LSRI; newly appointed at the OU (1 Aug 2011)• Interested in how we can use geospatial data and location to inform learning in mobile and informal scenarios• Particularly intrigued by the potential of mobile devices to deliver ad hoc learning
    4. 4. Introduction• Mobile communications are now part of everyday life• Huge potential for utilising location-specific resources and rich multimedia experiences• How we can use these resources for effective contextual learning?• How can we design and evaluate location- based learning?
    5. 5. Types of mobile and contextual learning• Six general categories of activity: – Behaviourist: learning results in a change in learners’ observable actions – Constructivist: learners actively construct new ideas/concepts based on previous and current knowledge – Situated: learning occurs within authentic context and culture – Collaborative: learning through social interaction – Informal/lifelong: learning outside of formal settings – Learning and teaching support: help co-ordination of learners and resources Ref: Naismith, L., Lonsdale, P., Vavoula, G. & Sharples, M. (2005) Literature Review in Mobile Technologies and Learning. A report for NESTA Futurelab (available online).
    6. 6. Contextual learning (1)• Learning occurs in a series of contexts e.g. time, place, tasks/goals, resources, social activities – within and between groups and individuals• Learning also creates context through continual interactions between people, settings, technologies and other artefacts• Context can be seen as a film or movie: each scene represents a context state, one that follows on the previous one• Learners share artefacts and create mutual understanding through dialogue and physical interaction
    7. 7. Contextual learning (2)• Context can also be seen as an emergent property of interaction…• … i.e. how we augment human activity in context, instead of modelling it• The challenge is how to add value to locations or places with appropriate tools and materials• Can then enable people, individually and together, to create and maintain their own rich contexts for learning
    8. 8. Educational affordances of mobile devices • Portability • Social interactivity • Context sensitivity • Connectivity • Individuality
    9. 9. Case Study 1:Augmenting the visitor experienceRef: Priestnall, G., Brown, E. and M. Sharples (2009)A student-led comparison of techniques for augmentingthe field experience. Proceedings of the mLearn 2009Conference, Orlando, Florida, 26-30 Oct 2009, pp 195-198.
    10. 10. Aims To assess a range of techniques forexploring the use of digital geographic information to augment real scenes in the field Create a student-led exercise to encourage critical evaluation of these techniques to support the field experience (and mobile tourist guides).
    11. 11. Approach• Fieldwork – education in the field... mobile!• 3rd year Geography undergraduates + some MSc• ‘Mobile and Field GIS’ module, focus on appropriate use of Geographic Information in a landscape context• Student presentations• Videos + observation• Follow-up focus groups
    12. 12. Supporting learning about the landscape Eric Robson (Striding Edge Ltd)Sir Hugh Walpole Video
    13. 13. 1. Computer-generated Acetate
    14. 14. 2. CustomPDA-basedapplication
    15. 15. Screen visibility can be an issue … this is as good as it gets
    16. 16. 3. Mediascape on a mobile phone Audio of Wainwright VIDEO from Derwent Water Wainwright OS Photo
    17. 17. Phone-based mediascapes
    18. 18. 4. Google Earth on a Tablet PC
    19. 19. 5. Head-Mounted Display (partial VR) Geovisionary (Virtalis, Univ. Leicester, Univ. Nottingham)
    20. 20. Summary of student findings• Computer-generated acetate:  Successful format/simple, ‘electronic acetates’ a vision for the future?  Difficult in windy conditions, predetermined viewpoints a drawback.• Custom PDA application:  Sketching, legend & audio popular (but relevance?)  Stability, incl. GPS connectivity. Screen visibility in bright sunlight.• Mediascape on a mobile phone  Easy authoring (control over media placement)  Screen size and visibility, graphical media less effective.• Google Earth on a tablet PC  Large screen and Google Earth’s data exploration environment popular  Screen visibility, battery life, pen-based interaction (GE designed for desktop)• Head-Mounted Display  Fun, engaging, good for heavily graphical information  Technical complexity, robustness, heavy, not waterproof!
    21. 21. Reflections on exercise• Relating digital information to features in the real world – How can digital representations be mapped onto the real world by the user – Information doesnt always relate to neat trigger regions – How do we mimic the in-field expert pointing things out?• In-field evaluation – Asking students to develop their own evaluation schema – Video diaries a promising technique• The role of graphics – Seek alternatives to heavily graphical representations – More emphasis on design of audio for in-field use.• Ease of use – Even tech-savvy students didn’t have time for complex mapping apps – The demand for simplicity was in evidence across all interactions
    22. 22. Implications and future work Beginning to exploit real-time Caistor Roman Town, East Anglia, UK. handheld Augmented Reality Data from Will Bowden (Archaeology) Need to develop design rules for mobile field guides which mimic the field expert. Reduced emphasis on graphics, new challenges in making geographically relevant audio. Google Maps Simple but effective? – all new geospatial and Navigation for handheld AR applications will need to strive to Android 2.0 move from being novelty apps to becoming killer apps.
    23. 23. Case Study 2: A Chaotic EncounterRef: FitzGerald, E., Sharples, M., Jones, R. and G. Priestnall (2010)Guidelines for the design of location-based audio for mobilelearning. Proceedings of the mLearn 2010Conference, Valletta, Malta, 19-22 Oct 2010, pp 24-31.
    24. 24. Audio in location• Used extensively in mobile gaming, tourism, educational visits and theatrical events• Can be used for directional purposes, orientation or task-based activities/instruction• Provide information, tell a story or create ambient sounds such as birdsong or machinery
    25. 25. Spoken audio experiencesWe have proposed 3 categories:• Audio vignettes• Movement-based guides• Mobile narratives
    26. 26. Case study: A Chaotic Encounter• Movement-based guide + mobile narrative• An entertaining audio story, based on Nottingham folktales, which adapts its content to reflect the listener’s movement patterns• Each segment of audio has a low, medium or high ‘chaos’ rating (low = few characters, mundane storyline; high = many characters, surreal storyline)• User’s movement (speed, direction) determines what chaos rating the next audio segment is• Automatic and manual modes
    27. 27. Narrative structure Chaos Time
    28. 28. Findings from case study• All enjoyed the audio experiences – very immersive• Some confusion from users when in automatic mode – unsure of what to do• But manual mode less enjoyable due to the interruptions by users having to interact with the system• Some inaccuracies reported with GPS
    29. 29. Case Study 3:Hidden Histories: To the Castle!
    30. 30. Overview of the project• Investigated how located audio can be used to provide opportunities for historical learning in public history• Case study of the 1831 Reform Riot in Nottingham, content created by a local history group• Conducted 2 types of guided walk: – People-led – Technology-led
    31. 31. What were we trying to find out?• Can mobile technology be used to convey historical empathy and learning from conflicting perspectives?• Academic research questions – Historical focus – Educational focus – User experience
    32. 32. To the Castle! ‘people-led’ walk
    33. 33. To the Castle! ‘technology-led’ walk
    34. 34. Not without problems
    35. 35. 7scenes – tracing the walk
    36. 36. Historical research areas1. Historical literacy concerning the Reform Riots in Nottingham, asking: What happened in the period of the riots?2. Historical empathy with the people involved: What were Attaining historical literacy this period and these events like for different people? Experiencing ‘empathy’ with historical subjects3. Historical interpretation: how were Responding to these events and their causes & evaluating accounts from viewed from differing a variety of perspectives and/or conflicting perspectives?
    37. 37. Educational research areas• Learning in location What differences arise from learning in location compared to elsewhere (e.g. indoors; round a table etc)?• Factors affecting learner preferences Do you like learning in location? Why – or why not?• Group versus individual tour guides How did the audio guide technology affect group dynamics?
    38. 38. User experience research areas• Preferences for location based audio guides What did you or didnt you like about using the audio guide to learn about the Reform Riot?• Experience of using smart phone technology What were your experiences (good, bad or neither) in using a handheld (mobile) device to help your learning?• Comparing people-led and technology-led modalities What were the important differences between the two types of guided walk? How did they affect the user experience?
    39. 39. Current state of the research• Hoping to do more user trials in the future• Need to analyse questionnaires more fully• Interesting findings about – Quality and presentation of information – Authenticity of voice – Group dynamics e.g. listening on your own For more info see:
    40. 40. Last but not least… something a bit ‘wacky’ (apparently)
    41. 41. Ad hoc learning in location• Anyone can be a field guide, through creation and delivery of user-generated geolocated content• Enables learning in location through serendipitous discovery of media placement• In-field authoring and editing of content• Enables reflection by user, either at the time or later on
    42. 42. A framework for authoring Use of language/media Type of Knowledge level Interaction –Landscape domain related to the Contextual aspects communication of content try to include: landscape1. form of 9. suggestion 16. describe shape, 23. Domain-specific: Temporal: 33. authenticity landscape colour, size 10. hint or beginner 26. is this info related to 34. relevance to2. common warning 17. use emotions or the time of year or everyday life intermediate knowledge personal response the seasons? 11. conversation 35. element of fun where advanced3. science 27. is this info related to 12. practical task appropriate 36. anything unusual specialist time of day?4. history or unexpected 13. reminiscence 18. use simple English 24. age-related?5. contemporary (short, commonly- 28. visibility of the 37. opportunity for 14. short textual (children might use used words) landscape and its reflection by the description not have the where possible features/landmarks user6. myth same knowledge 15. exhortation 19. avoid jargon but or level of 38. respect for7. symbol (e.g. ‘look do use understanding as Available resources: others and for carefully’)8. art appropriate an adult) the environment 1. other people language 25. Needs prior 39. the story behind knowledge? 2. experts the visible (e.g. 20. be culturally sensitive 3. leaflets photosynthesis in a leaf) 21. be clear and 4. notices/signs concise 22. orient the visitor appropriately
    43. 43. Impact of this work• Content analysis  can guide creation of user- generated content / provide framework for authoring and aid metacognition• Help curation of user-generated content + tagging/filtering; potential for personalisation• Media created should be of higher quality• Use the framework to structure learning aims and outcomes
    44. 44. Summary• Whistle-stop tour of location-based mobile learning• Educational affordances and context• Selection of case studies – Augmenting the visitor experience – Audio guides • A Chaotic Encounter • To the Castle!• Ad hoc learning in location
    45. 45. Thanks for listening Acknowledgements: Gary Priestnall, Mike Sharples, Rob Jones, Claire Taylor, Mike Craven, People’s Histreh, James Goulding and students from the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham