Learning with books or scripts is often one-sided and abstract whereas interactive content can help to achieve a better understanding of what has been learned. The project “Social Augmented Learning” opens up a new – digital – perspective of learning. In this course, and for the first time in Germany, AR technologies are connected to social networks.
So far, existing AR systems have been focussing on the information and entertainment sector. Transferring Augmented Reality to training and further education supports learning in reality. Learned content can be visualised directly on the object and explained in detail. Through the connection to social media components, to smartphones or tablets, knowledge can be retrieved anywhere and at any time. This facilitates the exchange of learned content, supports social competence and increases the users’ motivation to learn.
The aim of the project “Social Augmented Learning” (SAL) is the development and testing of digital teaching and learning methods in order to optimise training and further education of media technologists. The focus is on learning modules on three levels of digital application – social, mobile and augmented. They shall complement conventional methods of training on machines, ex-cathedra teaching and the use of teaching materials like scripts and books.
Augmented Reality, the computer-assisted extension of reality perception, forms the basis of these learning modules. For the learners it visualises processes at printing machines and explains correlations. Interactive practices on machines can thus lead to a better understanding of the printing process, of maintenance activities or requirements on quality.
On one hand, SAL aims to reduce the workload of teachers, and on the other, make learning more interesting for trainees by employing modern means of information and communication. The increasing complexity of technical systems leads to higher demands on the employees. The involvement of skilled workers into learning and information units shall counteract this process and create a smooth transition from conventional training to self-learning.
Knowledge Transfer with SAL
In the SAL project interactive learning applications are developed out of the different learning modules on printing machines. Trainees can work with these on their mobile devices. The mobile component enables them to practice on the virtual printing system at any time - individually, flexibly and with guidance through the different contents. The trainees learn how to use a printing system and familiarise with standard situations as well as exceptional situations. On a self-organising basis they fulfil operational, maintenance and service tasks, and do exercises such as optimising the quality of products.
A special tool for authors developed over the course of the project makes sure that these new forms of learning have a long-term effect. It enables teachers to create and advance content. In the future, the components and methods can function as model prototypes for the development of further digital education offers in different companies and sectors. The access via social networks promotes collective learning and intensifies the exchange of learned content.
Advantages at a glance
Learning by using real examples
Direct linking of learning object and meta information
Collaborative and problem-oriented learning
Training simulation of special activities
Enhanced self-learning process and ad-hoc learning
Closer cooperation between vocational schools and companies
Further training of pedagogical personnel
Potential for other target groups
During the next three years the Zentral-Fachausschuss Berufsbildung Druck und Medien (central committee for occupational training in the print and media sector) – together with the Fraunhofer IGD Rostock, the University of Wuppertal (print and media technology), dem MMB-Institute for Media- und Competence Research in Essen and the Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG – will develop innovative learning applications for media technologists. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.