The current landscape of Mixed Reality (MR) applications in Education finds common employment in rendering 3D content in digital spaces. We noticed an unexplored area in the development of 3D-based activities that, combined with 3D content, could lead to comprehensive teaching experiences. Our project, in partnership with Vodafone and FifthIngenium, aims to fill this gap. These two companies asked us to work on the theme of using MR in Education to convey concepts instead of representing contents, giving us the freedom to develop activities without specific constraints on our creativity.
Our first design step was to identify the support for synchronous group work as an interesting scenario of use, considering its utility in both formal and non formal (thus also corporate) educational settings. This innovation resonates notably within the context of the agile methodology, amplifying its significance. After a brainstorming process, we chose to develop a word cloud activity to aid discussions, knowledge retention and decision-making. We tested this activity at the Politecnico di Milano Open Day and the Parini High School, with largely positive feedback on its user-friendliness, functionality and perceived usefulness. Around 80.5% of the Open Day participants found the system practical, and 71.4% of the Parini participants appreciated the collaboration with other students in MR.
Future developments includes the implementation of agile project management tools and a hierarchical user structure into the MR system. These enhancements are aimed at catering to complex project management needs in both academic and corporate settings. While these developments are promising, they will require additional research and testing to ensure their effectiveness.
The project’s innovative development, practical application, and comprehensive evaluation have been summarized in an article accepted as a full paper and presented at EDMEDIA in Vienna, one of the world’s most important conferences on the topic of integrating technologies in Education.