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Situating Augmented Reality in the K-12 Classroom

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Fundemental and Evaluation: Embedded Programs in Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Te'Airra Monique Brown Virginia Tech

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TeAirra Brown graduated summa cum laude from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science Engineering. Currently, she is a second year doctoral candidate in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. TeAirra has received numerous fellowships and honors, which includes: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Gates Millennium Scholarship, New Horizon Graduate Scholarship, Bradley Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Fellowship, GEM Consortium Fellowship, Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences (DNIMAS) full-academic scholarship and a suite of other honors. TeAirra’s research interest focuses on developing and evaluating augmented reality (AR) applications to support AR-based learning experiences in K-12 classrooms. She wants to identify the unique benefits and challenges in pairing personalized learning and augmented reality.

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Glenda D. Young Collins Virginia Tech

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Glenda Young is a third year PhD Candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She is from Starkville, MS where she attended Mississippi State University (MSU) and earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. She also earned a Masters of Industrial and Systems Engineering from Auburn University (AU). Glenda is a Gates Millennium Scholar and her research interest include academic/industry partnerships, student transitions, and broadening participation in engineering.

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National dialogue and scholarly research illustrate the need for STEM innovations in K-12 environments. President Obama affirms this need by stating that “... Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today in math, science, technology, and engineering (STEM).” In response, educators have increased the use of technology in the K-12 classroom setting to stimulate interest in STEM. Various technologies have been introduced to improve content delivery to enhance the student learning experience. One application of technology that has been used in K-12 settings is augmented reality (AR). AR technologies project virtual objects onto real world scenes. For example, Construct3D is an application designed to deliver mathematics and geometry concepts to high school students through augmented construction scenarios. Researchers cited improvements in student engagement, but could not measure learning outcomes because they lacked grounding in educational research.

Similarly to research of Construct3D, current AR application literature highlights researchers attempts to evaluate and measure student learning in AR applications with little basis in learning science or educational psychology literature. Research is needed to better understand how different learning theories can be used to inform implementation of AR applications in K-12 environments. Doing so, allows researchers to consider the teacher’s and student’s role when evaluating the usefulness of AR applications. In this paper we provide a model to illustrate how situative learning theory can be used as a framework to implement a geometric AR application in third through fifth grade classrooms. Situative learning will allow us to evaluate how learning can take place within the context of a classroom by using virtual information. This framework will also allow us to assess the quality of learning of mathematical concepts as a result of interactions among the students, teachers, virtual objects, and class activities within the context of the classroom environment. Using literature and our existing research design, we will reveal how to design an environment in which situative learning theory leveraged with AR applications can simulate real world problems that support measurement of student learning outcomes.

The use of augmented reality in the classroom has the ability to enhance the learning experience for K - 12 students by creating visual and tangible interaction applications. The National Educational Technology Plan of 2010 believes that one of the most powerful ways to transform and improve K-12 education is to instill a culture of innovation through technology use. By leveraging learning theory to inform implementation of AR applications in K-12, researchers can create well-designed educational experiences.

Brown , T. M., & Young Collins, G. D. (2016, June), Situating Augmented Reality in the K-12 Classroom Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26190

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