Technology

The design, implementation and evaluation of new technologies and educational applications for teaching and learning are one of the main foci of the MCL group. Adopting a design-based approach, the MCL group has been focused during the previous years on the development of:

  • CompARe gamified mixed reality learning environment for school visits at cultural heritage sites and museums
  • TraceReaders AR platform for the design of AR location-aware learning environments for inquiry-based learning
  • STOCHASMOS web-based platform for the design of computer-supported collaborative inquiry learning environments

Below you can find more information about the educational platforms and applications.

“CompARe” is a gamified mixed reality (MR)  learning environment designed for supporting students during educational school visits to cultural heritage sites or museums. The environment supports various inquiry-based scenarios. Currently, CompARe supports the scenario entitled “Tracing the footsteps of Angels”; the latter is an inquiry learning scenario around a unique 6th century ceiling mosaic where students, working in pairs, assume the role of art historians and are asked to date the ceiling mosaic by visiting four digital agents (hotspots) which are located throughout the space. Hotspots contain multimedia content (text, images, video). The learning environment includes a number of gamification elements  that enrich the learning experience: (a) Team name, (b) Scoring system, students earn points by completing each hotspot, (c) Badges, students gain badges by completing each hotspot, (d) Time limit (Countdown), students have a certain period of time to complete their inquiry, (e)Progress, students can monitor their progress during the mission, and (f) Leaderboard, students can track in real time their position in the overall standings of the teams participating in the inquiry. Besides the gamified design the learning environment also includes scaffolding design seeking to guide learners’ interactions and to help shape their thinking in productive ways. A comparison tool was included to help students during their inquiry and enrich their learning experience by giving them the ability to compare images of mosaics of the same and/or different era.

For more information about the CompARe gamified learning environment:

Souropetsis M. & Kyza E. A. (2021. June 2 -4). Emerging technologies for learning at a cultural heritage sites: The design of the CompARe mixed reality gamified learning environment. [Paper presentation]. To be presented at the RISE IMET International Conference on Emerging Technologies and the Digital Transformation of Museums and Heritage Sites, Nicosia, Cyprus  [Online].

“Trace Readers” (Georgiou & Kyza, 2013) is a location aware AR application designed for supporting students’ AR location-based, outdoors investigations at a variety of sites with educational interest (e.g. archaeological and historical sites, environmental and ecological sites etc.). “Trace Readers” combines two different components: an application and an authoring tool that allows the development of custom AR learning environments for inquiry-based learning. The designer can create a video-based scenario within the AR learning environment, which includes multimedia-based content, such as text, videos, images or graphs. In addition, the authoring tool provides the opportunity to relate each data source with a location in the real world, thus creating physical hotspots which are triggered as learners approach them. This functionality allows designers to augment a real-world location by creating a dynamic layer on top of the physical space.
The AR learning environment on Trace Readers can be used online or offline; in the latter case no internet connection is required to run the application (app). “Trace Readers” also supports the collection of research data during the students’ learning activity.

For more information about the TraceReaders location-aware AR application, you can read the following publications:

Kyza, E. A., & Georgiou, Y. (2018). Scaffolding augmented reality inquiry learning: the design and investigation of the TraceReaders location-based, augmented reality platform. Interactive Learning Environments, 1-15. doi:10.1080/10494820.2018.1458039

Efstathiou, I., Kyza, E. A. & Georgiou, Y.  (2018). An inquiry-based augmented reality mobile learning approach to fostering primary school students’ historical reasoning in non-formal settings. Interactive Learning Environments, 26(1). 22-41. doi:10.1080/10494820.2016.1276076

STOCHASMOS (Kyza & Constantinou, 2010) is a web-based learning platform for supporting students’ scientific reasoning through scientifically authentic investigations with an embedded authoring tool. Teachers and other instructional designers can use this system to design their own web-based investigations with reflective supports. The STOCHASMOS platform is available in English, Greek, Arabic, Dutch, German, Hebrew, and Swedish. The platform was the main product of the STOCHASMOS project which investigated the role of new technologies in supporting middle-school students’ reflective inquiry practices in science and, in specific, the role of technology-based supports in scaffolding students’ reasoning with scientific data. The research part of the project examined the interactions of the students with the web-based environment following a mixed-methods approach.

For more information about the STOCHASMOS web-based learning platform, you can read the following publications:

Kyza, E. A., Constantinou, C. P., & Spanoudis, G. (2011). Sixth graders’ conceptual understanding of iotic and abiotic factors during a disturbance in an ecosystem. International Journal of Science Education, 1‐37. doi:10.1080/09500693.2010.550951

Kyza, E. A. (2009). Middle‐School Students’ Reasoning About Alternative Hypotheses in a Scaffolded, Software‐Based Inquiry Investigation. Cognition and Instruction, 27(4), 277‐311. doi: 10.1080/07370000903221718