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Effective digital pedagogy: new ways of engaging students

Updated Tuesday, 6th September 2022

As technology develops, the potential for further engaging students offers extremely exciting opportunities. This article explores three ways: quick response, augmented reality and virtual reality.

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Utilising technology in new and innovative ways can develop new pedagogies and new approaches to developing learning.  Moving beyond the desktop screen and keyboard with the widespread use of mobile technology allows the integration of the environment with technology in creative ways. In this article we consider the three Rs of Digital Pedagogy:

  • QR - Quick response
  • AR – Augmented reality
  • VR – Virtual reality

Why should you use the three Rs?

There are many benefits to incorporating the three Rs into learning including, but not limited to:

  • Portability and taking learning beyond the boundary of the classroom – with the use of mobile devices.
  • Agile learning – Going from static learning, where the text or images are on a screen or printed material, to agile learning where the learner becomes immersed with the content and can interact in various ways.
  • The use of technology as an intermediary for knowledge transmission – where the technology adds and facilitates knowledge beyond what is initially seen by the learner.
  • Creative approaches for teaching and learning – new, engaging ways to deliver content and to facilitate deeper learning opportunities from.
  • Contextualising learning – allowing the digital content to be placed in the real environment.
  • Using technology as an intermediary to allow learners to absorb and interact in, on or outside their learning and assessment environment. 

How can you develop the three Rs?

Creating QR codes is easy. Once you have chosen your online material or stimulus, copy the URL into a QR generator and the QR code will be created. You can then embed it into online material or print for use in the external environment. Using the mobile device to scan the QR code activates the digital content on the device.

Examples of how it could be used include adventure trails with clues leading to new clues and information, enhancing an environment with additional information on screen, or providing audio or visual content when activated by the device.

AR content can be activated by a mobile device when viewing targets also known as hotspots. The ability to layer content on the real environment, when seen through a mobile device, further enhances learning. You can add and create your own computer-generated 3D objects, sound and video that users can activate using their devices. Taking learning from beyond what is seen allows for immersive and deeper learning. Examples might be providing a 360 model of buildings that once stood on a historical location, seen through the device, and mixed with the real, current environment. This may also have pre-recorded audio or video clips with background information./p>

VR content can be accessed with the use of a headset and software allowing the user to be fully immersed in a simulated environment. These headsets can be created out of cardboard or purpose made headsets can be bought. With the use of computer-generated environments or the pre-recorded photos or video from a 360 camera of a location, the user can explore and look at the virtual environment in detail. It is possible to include targets within the environment with further information and content that the learner can engage with.

A photograph of a person using a VR headset

Examples of use might be, putting on a headset and taking a virtual walk around a Paris Street via google earth Street view, looking at the night sky, or looking at the architecture features on the inside of a building, all from the comfort of the learner’s own home, office or other learning environment.

The three Rs allow you to take learning beyond the confines of the traditional learning environment, in innovative ways. Either deployed individually, or blended together, they can enhance digital pedagogy and engage your learners in new ways.



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