Walking with Media: Towards a Mixed Reality Pedagogy in University Learning Environments

  • David RousellEmail author
Part of the Springer Series in Adaptive Environments book series (SPSADENV)


Recently the fields of architecture, media studies, and education have begun to converge through the proliferation of mixed reality technologies and interfaces. This convergence is widely described as offering new opportunities for immersive, seamless, decentralised, and environmentally distributed learning experiences. This chapter contributes to a growing body of research exploring the transformation of learning environments through distributed media networks, digital databases, and innovative pedagogical interventions. It develops a theoretical framework for researching the interconnections between the built environment, mixed reality technologies, and place-based learning experiences and pedagogies. The second part of the chapter focuses on the development of the CubeWalk network, which involved a series of site-specific architectural installations, digital interfaces, and pedagogical interventions on a university campus in New South Wales, Australia. Two case studies are presented which describe the co-design and evaluation of mixed reality tutorial walks across the university campus. Drawing together insights rendered through the case studies, the chapter offers a series of theoretical propositions for a ‘mixed reality pedagogy’ that is distributed across 21st century learning environments and media networks.


Learning environments Higher education 21st century media Learning design Mixed reality Personal data 


  1. Bacca J et al (2014) Augmented reality trends in education: a systematic review of research and applications. J Educ Technol Soc 17(4):133Google Scholar
  2. Baran E (2014) A review of research on mobile learning in teacher education. Educ Technol Soc 17(4):17–32Google Scholar
  3. Bower M et al (2014) Augmented reality in education–cases, places and potentials. Educ Media Int 51(1):1–15MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown G (2009) The ontological turn in education: the place of the learning environment. J Crit Realism 34(5):5–36Google Scholar
  5. de Freitas E (2011) Parkour and the built environment: spatial practices and the plasticity of school buildings. JCT (Online) 27(3):209Google Scholar
  6. de Freitas E (2018) The biosocial subject: sensor technologies and worldly sensibility. Discourse: Stud Cult Politics Educ 39(2):292–308Google Scholar
  7. Deleuze G (1994) Difference and repetition. Trans Patton P. Columbia University Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  8. Dovey K, Fisher K (2014) Designing for adaptation: the school as socio-spatial assemblage. J Archit 19(1):43–63Google Scholar
  9. Ellsworth E (2005) Places of learning: media, architecture, pedagogy. Routledge, Abingdon, UKGoogle Scholar
  10. Frost S (2016) Biocultural creatures: toward a new theory of the human. Duke University Press, Durham, NCGoogle Scholar
  11. Gibson JJ (1979) The ecological approach to visual perception. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. Gislason N (2010) Architectural design and the learning environment: a framework for school design research. Learning Environ Res 13(2):127–145Google Scholar
  13. Guattari F (2008) The three ecologies. Continuum, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  14. Gutiérrez KD (2016) 2011 AERA presidential address: designing resilient ecologies: social design experiments and a new social imagination. Educ Researcher 45(3):187–196Google Scholar
  15. Hall T (2017) Architecting the ‘third teacher’: solid foundations for the participatory and principled design of schools and (built) learning environments. Eur J Educ 52(3):318–326Google Scholar
  16. Hansen MB (2015) Feed-forward: on the future of 21st century media. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  17. Hertzberger H (2008) Space and learning. 010 Publishers, RotterdamGoogle Scholar
  18. Hewlett Packard Company (2016) HP Aurasma is changing the way we interact with the world. Retrieved 21 Nov 2017 from
  19. Ho CML, Nelson ME, Müeller-Wittig W (2011) Design and implementation of a student-generated virtual museum in a language curriculum to enhance collaborative multimodal meaning-making. Comput Educ 57(1):1083–1097Google Scholar
  20. Keifer-Boyd K, Knochel AD, Patton RM, Sweeny RW (2018) Posthumanist movement art pedagogy: geolocative awareness and co-figurative agency with mobile learning. Stud Art Educ 59(1):22–38Google Scholar
  21. Kelly AE, Lesh RA, Baek JY (2008) Handbook of design research methods in education [Innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning and teaching]. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Leiringer R, Cardellino P (2011) Schools for the twenty-first century: school design and educational transformation. Br Edu Res J 37(6):915–934Google Scholar
  23. Livingstone S (2012) Critical reflections on the benefits of ICT in education. Oxford Rev Educ 38(1):9–24MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  24. Margulis L (1999) The symbiotic planet: a new look at evolution. Phoenix, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  25. Massumi B (2011) Semblance and event: activist philosophy and the occurrent arts. Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  26. National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) (2017) FutureLab at NFER. Retrieved 14 Aug 2017 from
  27. OECD (2006) PEB compendium of exemplary educational facilities, 3rd edn. Organization for economic cooperation and development. OECD Publishing, ParisGoogle Scholar
  28. Oliver M (2011) Technological determinism in educational technology research: some alternative ways of thinking about the relationship between learning and technology. J Comput Assist Learn 27:373–384Google Scholar
  29. Parisi L (2009) Technoecologies of sensation. In: Herzogenrath B (ed) Deleuze guattari & ecology. Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, UK, pp 182–199Google Scholar
  30. Peters MA, Besley T (2013) Introduction: the creative university. In: Peters MA, Besley T (eds) The creative university. Sense Publications, Rotterdam, ND, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  31. Pink S (2009) Doing sensory ethnography. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. Pink S, Hubbard P, O’Neill M, Radley A (2010) Walking across disciplines: from ethnography to arts practice. Visual Studies 25(1):1–7Google Scholar
  33. Protevi J (2013) Life, war, earth: deleuze and the sciences. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota PressGoogle Scholar
  34. Rogers Y, Price S, Fitzpatrick G, Fleck R, Harris E, Smith H et al (2004) Ambient wood: designing new forms of digital augmentation for learning outdoors. In: Proceedings of the 2004 conference on Interaction design and children: building a community, pp 3–10. ACMGoogle Scholar
  35. Rousell D (2015) The cartographic network: re-imagining university learning environments through the methodology of immersive cartography. UNESCO Observatory Multidi J Arts [Special issue on Critical Approaches to Arts-Based Research], 5(1):1–33Google Scholar
  36. Rousell D (2016) Dwelling in the anthropocene: re-imagining university learning environments in response to social and ecological change. Aust J Environ Educ 32(2):137–153Google Scholar
  37. Rousell D (2017) Mapping the data event: a posthumanist approach to art education research in a regional university. In: Knight L, Cutcher AL (eds) Arts, research, education: connections and directions. Springer, New York, pp 203–220Google Scholar
  38. Rousell D, Fell F (2018) Becoming a work of art: collaboration, materiality and posthumanism in tertiary visual arts education. Int J Educ Through Art [special issue on Speculative Realisms in Arts Education] 14(1):91–110Google Scholar
  39. Sharples M, Arnedillo-Sánchez I, Milrad M, Vavoula G (2009) Mobile learning: small devices, big issues. In: Ludvigsen S, Balacheff N, Jong TD, Lazonder A, Barnes S (eds) Technology-enhanced learning: principles and products. Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp 233–249Google Scholar
  40. Shaviro S (2009) Without criteria: kant, whitehead, deleuze, and aesthetics. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  41. Simondon G (1958/2017) On the mode of being of the technical object, trans Malaspina C, Rogove J. University of Minnesota PressGoogle Scholar
  42. Stanton D, O’Malley C, Fraser MC, Ng KH, Benford SD (2003) Situating historical events through mixed reality: adult-child interactions in the storytent. In: Proceedings of the international conference on computer support for collaborative learning (CSCL), pp 293–302Google Scholar
  43. Whitehead AN (1978) Process and reality. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  44. Willis J (2017) Architecture and the school in the twentieth century. In: Darian-Smith K, Willis J (eds) Designing schools: space, place and pedagogy. Routledge, New York, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  45. Winnicott DW (1989) Playing and reality. Routledge, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  46. Wood A (2017) A school’s lived architecture: the politics and ethics of flexible learning spaces. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Manchester Metropolitan UniversityGoogle Scholar
  47. Woolner P, Clark J, Hall E, Tiplady L, Thomas U, Wall K (2010) Pictures are necessary but not sufficient: using a range of visual methods to engage users about school design. Learning Environ Res 13(1):1–22Google Scholar
  48. Youdell D (2017) Bioscience and the sociology of education: the case for biosocial education. Br J Sociol Educ 38(8):1273–1287Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations