DOI: 10.3390/su16010379 ISSN: 2071-1050

Augmented Reality in A Sustainable Engineering Design Context: Understanding Students’ Collaboration and Negotiation Practices

Mobina Beheshti, Eunice Yujin Kang, Shulong Yan, Emanuel Louime, Caitlyn Hancock, Avneet Hira
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

This study reports on the use of augmented reality (AR) within the context of sustainable engineering design education. The objective of this study is to understand students’ collaboration and negotiation practices in a sustainable engineering design context using AR. The technology used in this study includes MERGE Cube (a physical cube that acts as a digital canvas for AR) and CoSpaces Edu (an online platform, for students to build 3D creations and animate them with code). There have been 48 instances of student participation from upper elementary to middle school in four iterations of this study since February 2022. The research was conducted based on a design-based research methodology, and the data was collected through qualitative methods and analyzed using the intra-action analysis method. This study’s outcome revealed that interactions among participant dyads and with the technology shed light on distinct dynamics within collaborative sustainability-oriented learning and design processes. These diverse interactions collectively emphasize the multifaceted nature of collaborative design, where individual experiences, communication styles, and technological proficiency all play integral roles in shaping the collaborative process. In addition, the results of our research showed that the complexities inherent in negotiating ownership and collaboration dynamics are influenced by individual attitudes, timing of involvement, and previous experiences. Given the importance of collaboration in achieving sustainability-oriented goals, these findings are relevant to the field of sustainable engineering education, especially when working with younger children.

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