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Augmented and Geo-Located Information in an Architectural Education Framework

Abstract. This work aims to design an academic experience involving the implementation of an augmented reality tool in architecture education practices to improve the motivation and final marks of the student. We worked under different platforms for mobile devices to create virtual information channels through a database associated with 3D virtual models and any other type of media content, which are geo-located in their real position. The basis of our proposal is the spatial skills improvement that students can achieve using their innate affinity with user-friendly digital media such as smartphones or tablets, which allow them to visualize educational exercises in real geo-located environments and to share and evaluate students own-generated proposals on site. The proposed method aims to improve the access to multimedia content on mobile devices, allowing access to be adapted to all types of users and contents. The students were divided into various groups, control and experimental, in respect of the function of the devices and activities to perform. The goal they were given was to display 3D architectural geo-referenced content using SketchUp and ArMedia for iOS and a custom platform or Android environment.

Keywords: Augmented reality, e-learning, geo-e-learning, urban planning, educational research.

1 Introduction

The implementation of new technology in the teaching field has been largely extended to all types of levels and educational frameworks. However, these innovations require approval, validation and evaluation by the final users, the students. A second step of the proposal (that will be generated in the first semester of 2014) will be to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of applying mixed evaluation technology in a case study of the use of interactive and collaborative tools for the visualization of 3D architectonic models. We will use a mixed-method of evaluation based on quantitative and qualitative approaches to measure the level of motivation and satisfaction with this type of technology and to obtain adequate feedback that allows for the optimization of this type of experiment in future iterations.

The current paper is based on three main pillars: The first pillar focuses on teaching innovations within the university framework that cultivate higher motivation and satisfaction in students. The second pillar concerns how to implement such an innovation; we propose the utilization of determinate tools (AR) of so-called Information Technologies (IT), so that students, as digital natives, will be more comfortable in the learning experience. Finally, the study will employ a mixed analysis method to concretely obtain the most relevant aspects of the experience that should be improved both in future interactions and in any new technological implementations within a teaching framework.

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