Effect of Augmented Reality on Astronomical Observation Instruction
Knowledge about astronomy is an important part of natural science; however, students taking the course of observing the outer space and stars cannot efficiently engage in the activity that poor learning outcome results from the limits of time, place, weather, and flat teaching materials. Although simulation software or paper-based planispheres have been applied to support astronomy learning, students cannot clearly understand the three-dimensional nature of astronomical concepts. Recently, due to the rapid advancement of technology, augmented reality (AR) is applied more and more to education. With the support of AR, classrooms are provided with real-and-virtual-combined learning equipment for students to reach the goal of visualizing complicated space relationships and abstract conception. It seems to bring a new opportunity for astronomy learning. However, although there have been studies on applications of augmented reality, few of them are concerned about empirical investigation on astronomical observation. This study therefore aims to establish an augmented-reality learning system on mobile devices and compare the differences among learning aids of a paper-based planisphere, computer simulation, and augmented reality on cognitive learning achievement and stargazing skill on astronomical instruction. Three classes of elementary students, in total, 87 students, participated in this study. One class used augmented reality on mobile devices to conduct astronomical observation, another class used simulation, and the other class used paper-based planispheres. The results indicate that augmented reality was effective in improving astronomy knowledge and stargazing skill.
KeywordsAugmented reality Astronomical observation Stargazing Elementary education
The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of China, Taiwan for financially supporting this research under Contract No. MOST 105-2511-S-259 -004 -MY3.
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