Asee peer logo

New Perspectives for Engineering Education – About the Potential of Mixed Reality for Learning and Teaching Processes

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Innovative Use of Technology I

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1188.1 - 26.1188.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Katharina Schuster RWTH Aachen University

visit author page

Katharina Schuster has been working as a scientific researcher at IMA/ZLW & IfU (IMA - Institute of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering, ZLW - Center for Learning and Knowledge Management & IfU - Assoc. Institute for Management Cybernetics e.V.) of RWTH Aachen University since 2009.

She has completed her Master's Degree in Communication Sciences, Psychology and Political Sciences at RWTH Aachen University and has spent time abroad in the USA, Spain and Slovenia. Mrs. Schuster leads the research group Didactics in STEM Fields. Her main research interests are virtual learning environments, service-based learning and Open Innovation for University Management. In her dissertation (finished in 2014), she investigated the impact of immersive user interfaces on presence and learning.

visit author page


Anja Richert RWTH Aachen University

visit author page

Prof. Dr. phil. Anja Richert

Managing Director of the Center for Learning and Knowledge Management (ZLW), RWTH Aachen University; Junior Professorship for Agile Management in Organization and Technology in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University

Anja Richert took up the position of managing director of the Center for Learning and Knowledge Management of the RWTH Aachen University in February 2011. With a doctorate in Communication Science, she has been working at the IMA/ZLW & IfU Institute Cluster since 2003, from 2008 to 2010 as manager of the Business and Research Division: Knowledge Management. In 2004 Anja Richert completed her degree in Communication Science with a distinction at the RWTH Aachen University. In December 2007, she gained her doctorate in the field of e-learning, likewise with a distinction. In the years 2010 and 2011 she received the International E-Learning Award (IELA) for the projects ROLE and RELOAD with the e-learning solutions developed under her leadership. Furthermore, she is a lecturer at the Mechanical Engineering Faculty of the RWTH Aachen University for a course on learning and work habits (compulsory elective subject for the degree course in Mechanical Engineering). Her main areas of research are the development of agile turbulence-tolerant processes and organizational concepts for knowledge and technology-intensive organizations, the development of knowledge management solutions and e-learning tools (e.g. knowledge maps) for various fields, as well as accompanying research for complex organizational development processes in heterogeneous research networks.

visit author page

author page

Sabina Jeschke RWTH Aachen University

Download Paper |


New Perspectives for Engineering Education – About the Potential of Mixed Reality for Learning and Teaching ProcessesIn the field of Digital Humanities, one important aspect lies on the process ofknowledge gain and knowledge transfer. In that context, the majority of MixedReality scenarios have been mainly the subject of game engines. 'Mixed Reality'describes the combination of virtual environments and natural user interfaces.Here, the user's field of view is controlled by his natural head movements via ahead mounted display. Data gloves e.g. allow direct interaction with virtualobjects and omnidirectional treadmills enable unrestricted navigation through avirtual environment by natural walking movements. Other tools as 3-Dimensionaljoysticks or sensor-enhanced clothes may come into play.To evaluate perspectives and potential for the use of Mixed Reality settings withinacademic education a study was carried out, focusing on the impact of immersionand flow on cognitive processes. Therefor a quasi-experimental design waschosen as the selection of the participants (major group: students of mechanicalengineering) of the study could not be randomized completely. A Mixed-Reality-Simulator (Virtual Theater) is used which combines two natural user interfaces: ahead mounted display (HMD) and an omnidirectional floor. To assess the effectsof natural user interfaces on cognitive processes, a two-group-plan (treatment andcontrol group) was established. The Mixed-Reality-Simulator (Virtual Theatre)was used as main stimulus of the treatment group whereas the control group useda laptop as interaction device. The learning environment was kept constant overboth groups. The data were collected and interpreted with quantitative methods.Constraints of data collection consist as the influence of the hardware can only beevaluated within a set of independent variables, which consists of a combinationof different user interfaces to a Mixed-Reality-Simulator. Thereby not all of thedisruptive factors could be eliminated.In this paper the study and the detailed results are described, which showedadvantages especially regarding affective and motivational factors of virtualenvironments for cognitive processes. In particular, the depth of the resulting“immersion” and the phenomenon of “flow” are discussed. The paper closes witha discussion of the question, to what extend such innovative technologies establishnew possibilities for educational sciences and pedagogics, especially focusing onengineering education and the field of virtual experiments.

Schuster, K., & Richert, A., & Jeschke, S. (2015, June), New Perspectives for Engineering Education – About the Potential of Mixed Reality for Learning and Teaching Processes Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24525

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015