Broadening Participation Research Project: Experimenting with an Augmented Reality Facilitated Instructional Model to Enhance STEM Education
Jackson State University will develop and test +an augmented reality facilitated instructional (AR-FI) model to improve STEM learning and academic success for undergraduate students. The investigators will examine the efficacy of a new model that could influence visual-spatial ability, improve student engagement, highlight instructors? teaching decision-making in STEM classrooms, and boost retention and academic performance. The proposed model is substantiated by the research literature on cognitive models, learning behavior, and successful STEM education practices. The project team will integrate visual-spatial learning with augmented reality in an immersive, interactive environment using DiedricAR and Tintisha Technologies models and create situated learning scenarios to test knowledge application, comprehension, application, and synthesis in selected STEM subjects. The expected outcome of the project is an augmented reality facilitated instructional model that can be used to transform traditional learning at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The project will involve design, implementation, evaluation, and redesign in an accommodating five-stage cycle: preparation, first experiment period, evaluation and redesign, second experiment period, and evaluation and publication. The investigators hypothesize that (1) there is a positive relationship between the AR-FI model and improvement of African-American STEM students' spatial ability, (2) there is a positive relationship between the AR-FI model and student engagement in STEM courses, and (3) there is a positive relationship between the AR-FI model and improvement of African-American students? academic performance in STEM courses. Freshman and sophomore students in four selected STEM courses will use their personal smartphones or tablet to experience immersive activities through augmented reality situations. The four assessment tools that will be used to triangulate the learning process, procedures, and accomplishment of the proposed project objectives include questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and student reflections. The questionnaires will be conducted through online survey tools, and the quantitative data will be filtered and statistically analyzed. Regression analysis will be conducted to establish the relationship for students' engaged learning index and learner empowerment scale. For course-embedded assessment, quizzes and group projects will be used to assess student learning improvement. The study will provide new perspectives for STEM faculty to motivate students intrinsically, engage students more powerfully, and increase retention of underrepresented STEM students.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.