Mixed Reality System for Teaching and Learning

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Education is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Education does not have any age boundaries as everybody has the freedom to learn at any age and at any time. The teaching methodology and strategies are improving rapidly over the last 2 decades because of the rapid development of technologies. One of the great technologies to support teaching and learning is mixed reality (MR). Mixed reality (MR) is one of the most recent innovations around extended reality. MR takes AR to another level. MR is combining AR and VR to give the next level of experience to the user by physically interacting with digital elements but in the real-world environment (Maas & Hughes, 2020). MR can manipulate digital images that are overlaid in the real world, a good example of MR is Microsoft HoloLens or the Lenovo Explorer.  MR is using a headset, but it is different from the VR headset that completely blanks out the world, the headset allows the user to see the real-world environment and can interact with the digital elements. MR has been used in many fields, such as school, medicine, the military, and others. But the purpose of MR is for education such as: increasing the competency level, giving more experiences, and others. Since mixed reality is becoming more advanced and popular, a brand like Microsoft, released Microsoft HoloLens, which allows the user to engage with digital content and interact with both real-world artifacts and virtual artifacts in the form of holographic-like images (Leonard & Fitzgerald, 2018). The traditional way of teaching is no longer applicable in today’s learners’ profiles. Now, they must be more engaging, interactive, and hands-on instead of just doing theories. Recent research has indicated that MR is effective in improving learning effectiveness (Tang et al., 2020), and potentially makes the learning process more interactive and meaningful by bringing the most natural experiences to the learners (Chen & Duh, 2018). With the improvement of the teaching and learning process by using MR, there are many positive impacts for teachers and students. Those positive impacts are connected and bring more holistic improvement for the students.

The top benefit of using mixed reality for teaching and learning is better learning engagement. Aside from the data extraction results, all educators believe that learning engagement is one of the most important aspects of teaching and learning. Learning engagement is benefiting both parties, teacher, and student because learning engagement is one of the key influencing factors of the situational interest of students (Tenberg, 2015). With a mixed reality system, it is very possible to use gamification to maintain the engagement of students (Tenberg, 2015). The virtual environment and games will increase engagement and motivation (Vasilevski & Birt, 2020).

The second top benefit is the interaction or interactive system that the mixed reality system provides. High interaction between the students and the system to learn something new, brings better knowledge transfer to the students and leads to the learning exploration of a particular subject or lesson. Each student has a different way of learning, a mixed reality system able to accommodate the student’s learning method by exploring the subject. Rich interaction leads to active participation in the immersive environment, which enriches the experience of immersion (Tenberg, 2015). The mixed reality system can be very interactive, which means the student interaction can be very high, with this feature the result will be an improvement in confidence and self-efficacy because the students can control their learning (Dalinger et al., 2020).

The next benefit is increased motivation. A mixed reality system is a very interesting and state-of-the-art system. By using a mixed reality system, the system can project better visualization for the students to have a better understanding. Related the top 2 benefits, which are, better learning engagement and more interaction led to an increment in student motivation. With better visualization from the mixed reality system and combined with gamification, student motivation is increased (Kommetter & Ebner, 2019). With the MR system, students can offer an experience that immerses the students in active learning and can boost the essential motivation level of students because of highly engaging challenges and feedback (Fotouhi-Ghazvini et al., 2011) The effectiveness of MR for teaching appears to be due to its capacity to immerse students in a fun environment and arouse their curiosity which leads to a better understanding and motivation (Towel et al., 2020).

The 4th benefit is teaching and learning effectiveness. This 4th benefit is also related to the previous benefits, which are, (1) better engagement, (2) more interaction/interaction, and (3) increased motivation. The MR system is very popular nowadays because of the ability to simulate teaching and training and there is evidence that this leads to teaching and learning effectiveness (Tang et al., 2020). Normally teaching and learning effectiveness is measured with the student understanding, with the MR system that can give students experiential learning through immersion and simulation, the student understanding is also increased drastically (Hauze et al., 2019).

The 5th benefit of this study is better learning outcomes. With better learning engagement and increase motivation because of the high interaction of the MR system, and also the MR system making the teaching and learning process more effective, in the end, the learning outcomes will be better. And also experiential learning gives students a better understanding and demonstrated that led to professional practice thinking about their potential future (John & Kurian, 2019). Students with low spatial abilities need some appealing learning visualization, and interesting visual aids to support their learning, by using the MR system, this can be achieved to enhance their learning outcomes (Weng et al., 2019). The presence in virtual learning environments also improves learning outcomes because the MR system enables focused and naturalistic interaction with learning materials and activities (Ke et al., 2016). The 6th benefit of this study and the last benefit that the author will be analyzed in this paper is experiential learning. With the ability of the MR system to create an immersive experience. Experiential learning will be very beneficial for lab lessons such as chemistry, biology, medicine, etc. Experiential immersion provides adaptability and impact as living laboratories. The psychological or cognitive process was also the main factor in improving students’ learning process (Antoniou et al., 2017). Experiential learning makes possible the complex scenario that might be very difficult to implement without the MR system, and safe for the students as well when they have to experiment with dangerous chemical fluids, or someone’s life in medical training. When students engage with experiential learning, it provides a better method to understand, decode, and learn course materials (Birt et al., 2018).