Virtual Reality

, Volume 19, Issue 3–4, pp 253–266 | Cite as

Development of a virtual butterfly ecological system based on augmented reality and mobile learning technologies

  • Wernhuar TarngEmail author
  • Kuo-Liang Ou
  • Chuan-Sheng Yu
  • Fong-Lu Liou
  • Hsin-Hun Liou
Original Article


A campus butterfly garden is a useful teaching resource for studying insect ecology because students can learn about a butterfly’s life cycle and become familiar with its habitual behavior by breeding and observation activities. However, it requires professional construction and maintenance for sustainable development, so very few schools can afford to own a butterfly garden. In this study, the augmented reality and mobile learning technologies have been used to develop a virtual butterfly ecological system by combining with campus host plants and virtual breeding activities. Students can use smart phones or tablet PCs to breed virtual butterflies on host plants and observe their life cycles at different growing stages. Using the available space in campus, a virtual butterfly garden can also be created as a greenhouse where students are able to observe different species of butterflies using the tracking telescope and catch a butterfly to obtain its information by touch-screen control. The virtual butterfly ecological system can increase the learning motivation and interest of students through virtual breeding and observation activities, so it is a suitable assistant tool for science education. A teaching experiment has been conducted to investigate students’ learning effectiveness and attitudes after using the system, and the results show that using the virtual butterfly ecological system can improve their learning effectively.


Augmented reality Mobile learning Context awareness Butterfly ecology 



The authors would like to thank for the financial support of the National Science Council (NSC), Taiwan, ROC, under the contract number NSC 100-2511-S-134-003.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wernhuar Tarng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kuo-Liang Ou
    • 1
  • Chuan-Sheng Yu
    • 2
  • Fong-Lu Liou
    • 1
  • Hsin-Hun Liou
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of e-Learning TechnologyNational Hsinchu University of EducationHsinchuTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Graduate Institute of Computer ScienceNational Hsinchu University of EducationHsinchuTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Department of Computer Science and Information EngineeringNational Central UniversityJhongliTaiwan, ROC

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