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Engagement Overload: Using Augmented Reality to Promote Student Interest in Computing

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.485.1 - 23.485.14



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Paper Authors


Jeffrey Chastine Southern Polytechnic State University

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Dr. Chastine has both academic and industry experience in mobile and interactive system development. He served as Chief Software Architect at a Manhattan-based mobile media development company developing augmented reality systems. He has also designed and implemented numerous mixed-reality systems for a variety of platforms and clients, including the British pop phenomenon, Duran Duran, and is currently developing augmented reality games for mobile platforms. Academically, he is an active researcher with several ACM and IEEE publications in virtual and augmented reality and has recently published a book chapter in the Handbook for Augmented Reality (Springer). As a graduate student in the Graphics, Visualization, and Usability (GVU) Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he contributed to early research in the nascent field of self-harmonizing karaoke software. He currently serves as an Associate Professor in Computer Game Design and Development, teaching courses such as Computer Graphics (OpenGL), 3D Modeling and Animation, and Production Pipeline & Asset Management. He has served in a variety of capacities academically including Interim Department Head, Associate Dean of the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences as well as the Graduate Program Director of the Masters of Archival Studies at Clayton State University.

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Engagement Overload: Using Augmented Reality to Promote Student Interest in Computing Augmented Reality (AR) registers virtual artifacts into the physical world in real time,providing users with new ways to visualize and interact within their environment. While suchtechnology may seem in the distant future, AR applications are now being deployed and adoptedby a mainstream audience. Students are often curious about how such technologies aredeveloped, especially those they find interesting or interact with on a daily basis. In years past,there were significant barriers of entry in creating even simple AR systems; development wasprohibitively expensive and typically required customized hardware and software. Further, todevelop meaningful AR applications, a broad, yet deep, set of computing skills was required ofthe students. Technologies are now emerging that lowers both of these barriers, forcing us to re-examine the role of AR in computing education. By itself, AR is very engaging. However, it can also encompass other educationalapproaches that have been used to foster interest in computing, such as mobile devices, 2D and3D computer graphics, and computer gaming. When combined these create an attractive andengaging platform for computing education. This paper will discuss the pilot of an undergraduatespecial topics computer science course in augmented reality. It will address course design andimplementation, as well as non-trivial course challenges and how they were overcome. Thoughthe size of the pilot was purposely kept small, the student population is a representative cross-cutof the disciplines within our school, including majors from computer science, softwareengineering and computer game development. Therefore, the paper will also discuss how toappropriately address diverse skillsets and backgrounds of a varied student population. Finally,the paper will showcase the diversity of student projects and study student perceptions ofempowerment and level of engagement in the course.

Chastine, J. (2013, June), Engagement Overload: Using Augmented Reality to Promote Student Interest in Computing Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19499

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