Exploring a Cognitive Basis for Learning Spatial Relationships with Augmented Reality
Brett E. Shelton and Nicholas R. Hedley
Augmented reality (AR) is an emergent class of interface that presents compelling possibilities for advancing spatial visualization. We offer a brief overview of AR technology and current research with in the educational realm. AR interfaces appear to provide a unique combination of visual display properties, modes of user manipulation, and interaction with spatial information. Drawing upon aspects of proprioception and sensorimotor function, we discuss how AR may have a unique and powerful link to spatial knowledge acquisition through visuo-motor involvement in the processing of information. We identify key properties of AR interfaces and how they differ from conventional visualization interfaces, followed by a discussion of theoretical perspectives that make a case for learning spatial relationships using first person manipulative AR.Recent research provides evidence that this form of AR holds cognitive advantages for learning when compared with traditional desktop 2D interfaces. We review the visual-physical connections to learning using first person manipulative AR within educational contexts. We then provide some suggestions for building future research in this area and explore its significance in the realm of spatial knowledge acquisition.