The AVR platform, also called EON-XR, is an Augmented and Virtual Reality media platform designed for anyone without coding knowledge to create AR and VR lessons. The platform contains a wide range of AVR applications, including 3D and 360 assets, covering almost every subject in the K12 secondary and higher education context. In the AVR library, users have access to 870,000 3D assets. In this report, we will mainly focus on their 3D assets with the application of AR and VR.
Ease of Use
The user interface of the AVR platform is easy to use for students and teachers. Smart device users can interact with the 3D models by touching the screen, which is more cost-efficient as it requires no virtual reality devices. In addition, users can choose to view in Virtual Reality (via a VR device) or Augmented Reality by placing the content on a flat surface through the camera. For PC users, they need to install the software in order to manipulate the 3D models, and the software does not support interactions in VR or AR due to the limitation of PC devices.
Another advantage is that the user’s and creator’s interface follow the same pattern, which means that a “mature” user can also be a potential lesson-creator. Based on the features mentioned above, creating a VR and AR lesson using EON-XR seems like designing an infographic and requires no advanced technical skill and devices.
Supporting Pedagogy and Academic Writing on the Educational Benefits
Before we dive into the AVR platform’s educational use, let’s briefly discuss its educational benefits stated by scholars and AVR experts. The AVR platform implication can avoid the pitfall of memorized-procedure-and-fact course exams that fail to measure the understanding of flexible, practical knowledge in a relevant situation (Wieman, 2015, 01:57). The Hart Research Associates survey in 2015 (Fig. 1) showed a significant difference in expectation from students and employers in terms of preparedness for working in the real world (AACU Survey, 2015, p. 12). According to Stenger (2017), the possible reason for this is that “memory is context dependent, so transferring or recalling something that was learned in a classroom setting to a fast-paced work environment isn’t always easy.”
Immersive VR learning is created to solve the issues. Compared with the traditional physical interface, a three-dimensional hologram (3DH) can provide users with a more on-the-spot experience and integrate with the real environment (Ngiik-Hoon & Shukhaila, p. 1037). Research also finds that “AR delivered almost double (1.9 times) the levels of visual attention compared to the non-AR equivalent,” and the memory encoding activity was 70% higher in the AR tasks compared to the non-AR tasks (Andrew, 2018).
Here is a short video that demonstrates how Augmented Reality affects the brain:
Zappar. (2018). How augmented reality affects the brain | Mindshare UK & Zappar [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxvfSF60ujE
Although immersive VR and AR learning seems promising, some teachers resist digital media adoption in K-12 arts education because they consider digital media irrelevant to the existing curriculum (Song, p. 690). Now let’s talk about how the AVR platform supports pedagogy. First, every asset in the library is a pedagogically-sound lesson. Teachers can choose to create their lessons based on the provided models with minimal modification. Second, features like adding contextual information, audio narrations, videos, and quizzes also support teaching. Ultimately, they offer school accounts to institutions, including teacher and student accounts, which enables corporations and lesson distributions. Up to now, they have many academic customers and partners (Fig. 2).
Accessibility and UDL
The AVR platform is available on Android or iOS for both phones and tablets. For each lesson, the audio is attached with readings. Relating to UDL principles imparted by CAST (2018), the platform is designed to assist educators in creating accessible learning experiences:
Multiple means of Engagement: AR and VR increase the levels of visual attention and enhance the learning transfer from textbook knowledge to the real working environment.
Multiple means of representation: Students have alternatives of how they want to interact with the learning content. Either through AV or VR. Textual information, audio, and video are also available.
Multiple means of action and expression: Similarly, when students create a project, they can also choose how they want to present their understanding of the content.
Considering the accessibility, we will use the POUR model to analyze the platform.
Perceivable: It still does not have interface with screen readers, making them inaccessible to students with visual impairment.
Operable: Smart devices users have better learning experience than PC users. There is limited information on assistive technology support.
Understandable: The interface is well-designed and easy to follow and contains no extraneous information. Student cognitive overload is avoided.
Robust: It is compatible with most operating systems and works well on most devices. As the information presented in Fig 3, it is only available for iOS 12.0, which denies older version users.
Suitability for individual student and group use
Interacting with the high-quality 3D models enhances learning experience. Students can also choose to learn anywhere and anytime with an Internet connection. Given the current Pandemic crisis, the platform allows students to learn in a virtual lab with limited in-person contact. Moreover, it supports group use with school account purchased. With the teacher accounts, teachers can monitor students’ progress and provide instant feedback.
Appropriateness for project-based learning
AVR platform can foster student inquiry and promote student autonomy, which is essential for project-based learning. Students can work on the assigned project by modifying or designing their AR or VR presentation. There is a wide range of 3D assets in the library to choose from for any discipline. Students can decide on using texts, audios, or videos in their project. Videos can also be directly imported from video repositories like YouTube.
When looking at the AVR platform, do you think you can use it in your class?
Could the virtual lab simulation replace the laboratory during the pandemic or even in the future?
What is the limitation of using the AVR platform in your teaching area or the educational context you support?
Presentation video by Jason Purdy & Junxiang Zhang (Team 8)
The official login page: https://account.eon-xr.com/Home/IndexV2
Feel free to use my account to try out the platform:
AVR Platform Quick Start Guide – Personal Computers
AVR Platform Quick Start Guide – Mobile Devices