Lindgren and Johnson-Glenberg (2013) discuss the implications of combining embodied learning and advancing technologies. In short, scientific and mathematical concepts are learned through physical, natural movement (such as “gestures, touch, body position”). This learning is combined with new technologies in an emerging field of education known as mixed reality (MR). The authors suggest six precepts for consideration in embodied learning and mixed reality classrooms. They are briefly summarized below:
- Embodied learning benefits everyone and not just a subset of the population
- The physical aspects must be properly linked to the development of new ideas
- The environment should not just augment reality (for example, it should accommodate the ability to overlay visuals or audio or induce collaboration)
- Provide opportunities for student and peer collaboration
- Where possible, combine both theory-driven studies and controlled studies to inform the MR classroom
- 6) Revise assessment to address the changing learning environment
Coella (2009) examines the use of participatory simulations in which a variety of scenarios are guided by a series of rules and structure. Within these constraints, students are able to learn scientific concepts through inquiry, experimentation, and exploration. However, these computer-supported simulations are not actually conducted on the computer; instead, students participate by wearing small, wearable computers and are participants in “unique, life-sized games.” For example, the interactions within a pond ecology were studied by students interacting with each other as either a “big fish” or a “small fish.” Results from the study indicated students were able to: be engaged, identify problems and produce hypotheses, and design and execute relevant experiments.
It is evident from both studies (Lindgren and Johnson-Glenberg, 2013; Coella, 2009) that learning occurs through experience. Students need to be afforded the opportunity to learn through of a diverse array of experiences, whether it be a regulated real-life simulation using hand-held devices or through the physical movement of the body. The concept of kinematics is able to utilize the concepts proposed by embodied learning and mixed reality. For instance, students should be able to physically measure their movements to produce corresponding kinematics graphs. Undoubtedly, the study of motion should inherently involve movement and not rely on textbook recitation or didactic methods, such as lecture.
- The article by Lindgren and Johnson-Glenberg (2013) discuss that assessment needs to depart from “traditional paper-and-pencil-style assessments” and parallel constructivist-inspired learning. How would possibly alter your assessment to match non-traditional learning environments, like MR?
- In my experience, while educators would like to incorporate different strategies in their lessons (like MR or participatory simulations). They can be sometimes difficult to execute effectively because programs or applications were not necessarily developed with a pedagogical mindset to begin with. Have you encountered any such challenges and how did you overcome them?
Colella, V. (2000). Participatory simulations: Building collaborative understanding through immersive dynamic modeling. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 9(4), 471-500
Lindgren, R., & Johnson-Glenberg, M. (2013). Emboldened by embodiment: Six precepts for research on embodied learning and mixed reality. Educational Researcher, 42(8), 445-452.