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Investigating Mixed-Reality Teaching and Learning Environments for Future Demands: The Trainers’ Perspective

  • Lana PlumannsEmail author
  • Thorsten Sommer
  • Katharina Schuster
  • Anja Richert
  • Sabina Jeschke
Chapter

Abstract

The first three industrial revolutions were characterized by the invention of water and steam engine, centralized electric power infrastructure and mass production as well as digital computing and communications technology. The current developments caused by the fourth revolution, also known as “Industry 4.0”, pose major challenges to almost every kind of work, workplace, and the employees. Due to the concepts of cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things and the increasing globalization, remote work is a fast-growing trend in the workplace, and educational strategies within virtual worlds become more important. Especially methods as teaching and learning within virtual worlds are expected to have an enormous impact on advanced education in the future. However, it is not trivial to transfer a reliable educational method from real to the virtual worlds. Therefore, it is important to adapt, check and change even small didactic elements to guarantee a sustainable learning success. As there is a lot of ongoing research about using virtual worlds for the training of hazardous situations, it has to be figured out which potential those environments bear for the everyday education of academic staff and which competencies and educational support trainers need to have respectively can give in those worlds. The used approach for this study was to investigate the trainers’ didactic perspective on mixed-reality teaching and learning. A total of ten trainers from different areas in Germany took part in this study. Every participant pursued both roles: the teaching and the learning part in a virtual learning environment. In order to assess the learning success and important key factors the experiment yields data from the participants’ behavior, their answers to a semi-structured interview and video analysis, recorded from the virtual world. Resulting data were analyzed by using different qualitative as well as quantitative methods. The findings of this explorative research suggest the potential for learning in virtual worlds and give inside into influencing variables. The online gaming experience and the age of participants can be shown to be related to participants’ performance in the virtual world. It looks like the barriers for the affected trainers are low regarding utilization of virtual worlds. Together with the mentioned advantages and possible usages, the potential of these setups is shown.

Keywords

Education Mixed-Reality Teaching Virtual World 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is part of the project “ELLI – Excellent Teaching and Learning in Engineering Sciences” and was funded by the federal ministry of education and research, Germany.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lana Plumanns
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thorsten Sommer
    • 1
  • Katharina Schuster
    • 1
  • Anja Richert
    • 1
  • Sabina Jeschke
    • 1
  1. 1.IMA/ZLW & IfU, RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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