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ERIC Number: EJ1151369
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Instructor-Led Approach to Integrating an Augmented Reality Sandbox into a Large-Enrollment Introductory Geoscience Course for Nonmajors Produces No Gains
Giorgis, Scott; Mahlen, Nancy; Anne, Kirk
Journal of Geoscience Education, v65 n3 p283-291 Aug 2017
The augmented reality (AR) sandbox bridges the gap between two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) visualization by projecting a digital topographic map onto a sandbox landscape. As the landscape is altered, the map dynamically adjusts, providing an opportunity to discover how to read topographic maps. We tested the hypothesis that the AR sandbox is a more effective tool for teaching topographic maps than the traditional, paper-based approach alone. Students enrolled in an introductory geology course were randomly divided into two groups. The control group (N = 82) completed the paper-based topographic maps laboratory course. The experimental group (N = 94) completed the same laboratory course but also used the AR sandbox. Students spent 15-20 min working on an instructor-guided exercise to explore concepts such as contours, landforms, profiles, and gradients. The following week, all students took a topographic maps assessment. As in previous studies, these data suggest that male students, those with prior map-reading experience, and those students with higher 3D visualization skills tended to score better on the assessment. Unfortunately, we identified no significant gains in the experimental group over the control group, even when the results were subdivided by gender, prior map experience, and/or spatial visualization skill. These results suggest a short instructor-guided approach is not the most effective way to use the AR sandbox. Future research should focus on determining the amount of time needed to make the AR sandbox effective and/or the efficacy of using the AR sandbox multiple times during the semester for shorter periods of time.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A