Field trips constitute a powerful educational tool, providing students with the opportunity to acquire authentic, hands-on experiences by direct contact with the natural environment. Technological advances, especially augmented reality (AR) applications, can add a whole new dimension to field trips. A field trip took place at the volcano Sousaki, enriched with AR activities that were created using the educational platform ARTutor. The students that took part in the field trip were asked to locate different rock formations on site from the pictures they had been given. By scanning these pictures with the use of the ARTutor application on their mobile devices they were given access to educational material that had been loaded in the ARTutor platform. The augmentations were pictures, videos and text and provided a great deal of information regarding the rock formations of the volcano.
The instructors were asked to comment on the whole experience from planning this field trip to watching students’ reactions and evaluating the level of their engagement and satisfaction. They reported that after setting the learning goals, the design of the augmented reality activities was problem-free. The platform was very helpful when uploading the augmentations chosen and they only had to check the signal reception at the volcano site so that they could confirm that there would be an internet connection during their visit. The quality of the content and the integrity of the materials could not be questioned, since they were uploaded on the educational platform after a great deal of consideration and rigorous screening on the part of the instructors.
Following the educational outing, the instructors expressed how positive this experience had been for the students, who enjoyed working together in groups, had fun locating the spots from the pictures and were amazed by the information provided to them through the AR application. All in all, the true potential of such a field trip was appreciated and taken full advantage of and, as they reported, it was something that they would definitely like to do again. They also pointed out how important such endeavours are for preserving our geological heritage.
Source: Psychogiou, M., Georgiou, K., Antonarakou, A., & Drinia, H. (2019). A field trip enhanced with ARTutor, an augmented reality educational platform. Eur. Geol. Eur. Geol.