About me

Hello, I am an avid life-long learner. After having worked at Cornell University for a decade as the Director of Research Integrity and Compliance, I moved to Ha Noi Vietnam with my husband to help to set up a new university called VinUniversity with Cornell and UPenn as strategic collaborators. Here, in a world far away - literally and figuratively- from anything that I had imagined, I have been working in faculty development, admission, registrar, policy making and implementation, teaching, and many other things that I didn't even know that a university has to build. It has been an amazing learning experience. Along the way, I have developed a keen interest in learning and teaching. As I look at where life will take me next after our stint here is over, I am interested in getting a formal education in Educational theories, principles and practices. I am currently an unmatriculated grad student at SUNY Albany, still trying to decide if I should try for a PhD or stick with an MS.

My Topic/Purpose

The topic for my lesson is the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in higher education. AR technology blends the real world with digital content, images, sounds in such a manner that the digital content is visible in the real world. According to Klopfer and Sheldon (2010) the potential of AR for learning is its capacity “to enable students to see the world around them in new ways and engage with realistic issues in a context with which the students are already connected” (p. 86). The Georgia Institute of Technology and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working to enhance student learning through AR gaming simulations (GeorgiaTech, 2014). Further, AR has been utilized to make complex concepts in mechanical engineering more easily understood by students (Liarokapis & Anderson, 2010). Applications of AR in the medical education and training fields, high-risk activities and skills training abound. Learners today grow up playing high fidelity video and computer games with embedded AR. As smart mobile phones and mobile devices become more and more ubiquitous, it has become easier to experience AR with little to no added expense. Given the digital nativity of the current and future learner populations, embedding this type of digital learning could be an effective way to engage students, make learning real, connect them with learning on their own terms and open up the possibilities for rapid innovations in teaching. Thus AR is expected to play a more significant role in teaching and learning over the next few years.

A plethora of big name tech providers such as Microsoft, Google, Apple and others have been investing deeply in AR enhanced experiences, and there is a large variety of high quality AR learning content becoming available. However, teachers have been slow in adopting AR in their teaching.

Why I chose Augmented Reality (AR) and not Virtual Reality (VR)

I chose AR because I think that the barriers to entry for using it are not as much as VR, and therefore it might be easier for teachers to adopt it for their teaching. these barriers come from various sources:

(1) Investment and cost: Using VR requires headsets and specialized equipment, and can be difficult to scale within a classroom or school. Cost can also be a barrier for schools that are not as resource rich; and the heavy initial investment can require a long line of permissions that could be intimidating and time consuming for educators.

AR, on the other hand, is accessible on mobile devices through apps. Many of these apps are free or relatively low cost. Since most college students are expected to have some sort of smart mobile device and are quite used to playing games or engaging with graphic content on their devices, AR is relatively easy to bring AR into the classroom and also make it part of the out of classroom experience.

( 2) Manageable change: Another reason is that using AR in teaching does not require a radical change in the course content; AR can simply be used in place of a planned 2D activity or it can be used to make a current project more engaging.

(3) Tech savviness and space: Since AR involves primarily work with applications on mobile devices, it requires little to no knowledge of technology; anyone who can play games on a phone can use the AR app. VR requires some knowledge of software, and requires safe physical spaces, both of which can be problematic.


My purpose in developing this short course is to create a resource that educators can use to start to incorporate AR in their teaching in college. In order to do so and to develop reasonable learning outcomes that would appeal to educators, I needed to understand what teachers would need to know and be able to do, in order for them to be open to using AR.


Needs Assessment/Learner Analysis

I chose to do a needs assessment with college faculty as they are my primary target audience. I chose a small sample of 5 faculty members in various disciplines (medicine, engineering, language, business), age groups and of both genders. I wanted to understand their different preferences and experiences with AR so that I could develop a course that would be useful to all of them. My questions centered around the following themes:

  1. Who are the learners- skills, digital comfort level, prior experiences with augmented reality
  2. What is the motivation for the learner to take this training?
  3. What is the instructional need: do the learners need to know enough about AR to be able to make a decision as to whether or not they should use it? or should they be able to feel comfortable with using it?
  4. For these learners, in this medium of instruction, what learning objects will be best suited for the learning: pre-developed videos and materials? reading? How interactive should the lesson be?
  5. How much time and resources does the learner have to devote to this learning?

A summary of my findings of learner expectations is below:

  1. Most faculty members (4/5) did not know what Augmented Reality (AR) was. All of them had heard the term and had a general idea about Virtual Reality ("you walk around with these big goggles on your head and you are in a different world"). They thought AR was some variation of VR but didn't know what was different.
  2. All were a little embarrassed that they didn't know more, and felt that they should because they have heard that these technologies are quite good, and also because everyone seems to be talking about them and they should as college professors know!
  3. Most had not seen or heard about applications of AR in their disciplines. In medical training, we use AR models in college anatomy courses, so the faculty member was aware of it, but didn't know much about it. When I explained what an AR application could look like, there was a fair amount of interest in exploring more.
  4. Most faculty wanted to see applications specific to their disciplines before they would be willing to spend any time on it.
  5. The more seasoned faculty expressed apprehension that learning this would take time, it would be expensive, and would be very time consuming to design lessons around it. the early career faculty (Engineering and language) - who by the way knew a lot more about AR than the others- were more open and much more comfortable with experimenting.
  6. Many felt that the technology can be "gimmicky" and that students might get more interested in playing with the tech rather than focus on the subject of learning. Early career faculty, however, were excited that this might actually be fun for them also.
  7. Most faculty said that this short course should be short, explain AR and VR with examples, show examples of AR applications in their fields, provide videos of how to use AR in teaching, and provide links and information about free or cheap high quality AR applications that they can play with easily.
  8. Faculty also said that, unless it was "SUPER" easy to incorporate AR in teaching, they would probably not change their current lessons to incorporate this new thing, but they would be open to using it for a new course or module. The switching inertia is pretty high, and there needs to be a compelling reason for it.

Implications for my course design:

My learners are primarily busy college faculty members who are cautiously skeptical of new technology. Receptivity to new methods varies greatly by years of teaching and exposure to gaming, programming, or tech savviness. Seasoned faculty prefer to continue to use the methods they have been using and are willing to try new things only if they are convinced that they will be significantly improve their teaching and their students learning experience, and if they have help in implementing them.

Faculty are curious and want to learn enough about AR/VR to be informed about it, but not necessarily to adopt it in teaching. In order to take any steps towards incorporating AR in their teaching, they must be convinced by means of real life examples from fellow teachers in similar disciplines. In fact it would be best if there were lesson plans for an AR activity that they could use in the beginning, without having to come up with their own.

In reading some of the content available on AR in education, I find that it is mostly informational and does not direct the learner to specific ways in which they can take steps to incorporate it in their teaching. I believe that the what is needed in a mini-course on new technology such as AR, is a focus on the attitudinal aspect of learning; ie. we need to convince educators of the value and ease of use of the technology so that they will CHOOSE to use it.

Therefore, in my mini-course, I will focus on this outcome and design the content and activities to help educators leave the course with a positive attitude towards AR in their teaching.

Performance Objectives

The intended learning outcomes of this course are derived from the needs assessment and learner context.

The course outcome is that educators in higher education will CHOOSE to use Augmented Reality (AR) applications in their teaching.

This is an attitudinal outcome. Therefore the course has to be such that it instills the behaviors that would make the learner develop a positive attitude toward AR. This would include (1) knowledge of the basics of AR and how it can be used (intellectual/cognitive skills), AND (2) the value and benefit of using AR in teaching in their disciplines (affective domain). As suggested by Wager (Wager, 1976), if I can get the educators to develop a positive attitude towards the AR, they will take less time to master the intellectual skills required to apply it.

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe and differentiate between the various type of extended reality applications that are used in education (maps to their desire to know about the tech even if they don't use it)
  2. Explain the use of Augmented Reality in education, and make a connection with their own discipline (maps to the desire to know the recent advances in teaching in their discipline and to see actual applications of AR relevant to their teaching)
  3. Find, evaluate and select two AR technology/platforms could be useful in their teaching practice, relevant to the subject matter and content of teaching (maps to the desire to be guided in making a selection)
  4. Create one short lesson using the AR platform of their choice, test it with at least one user.

Task Analysis



Learning Activity

Describe and differentiate between the various type of extended reality applications that are used in education and relevant to their discipline. 

  • MCQ of key features (1) facts and attributes (2) examples of real applications, asking learners to choose the tech they would use
  • Write a reflection piece on three ideas about how AR can be used in their teaching to address issues in student learning/.  
  • Conduct a pros and cons analysis
  • Read features summaries of the tech
  • Watch videos of applications of VR and AR
  • Watch demos of common AR apps
  • Download at least one AR app and experience lessons.
  • Explain the use of Augmented Reality in education, and make a connection with their own discipline same as above

    Write a short reflection on the possible use of AR for their subject

    same as above.

    in addition: Research AR applications on their own. Find a review paper or peer reviewed published case study on the use of AR. 

    Find, evaluate and select two AR technology/platforms could be useful in their teaching practice, relevant to the subject matter and content of teaching 


  • Identify two AR apps; complete the set of activities using the AR app for the learning activity. 
  • Write a short reflection. 
  • Identify two AR apps that are relevant to their subject matter. Download them and continue to investigate applications.

    Create one short lesson using the AR platform of their choice, test it with at least one user.


  • Ability to create a lesson with the AR app that meets the objectives. 
  • The activity should add to the learning experience. 
  • Instructions to students should be clear and easy to follow. 

  • Develop learning outcomes and learning activity for a learning module that they wish to develop with the AR app. 
  • Create the learning activity, or use a pre-created activity. 
  • Complete the lesson as a learner. 
  • Curriculum Map

    <tbody> </tbody>


    Unit and Content

    Domains of Learning

    1.     Describe and differentiate between the various type of extended reality applications that are used in education


    Unit 1: Introduction to XR

    - Describe each technology. Examples of applications including education. Videos, readings.

    - Using two case studies, highlight the difference between each tech

    Cognitive (learning about the tech)

    Affective (developing comfort level with the technologies)

    2.     Explain the use of Augmented Reality in education, and make a connection with their own discipline


    Unit 2: All About Augmented Reality (AR)


    - Marker- based (location specific) AR and Marker-less (topic specific) AR

    - Case studies & teacher testimonials of AR use in education

    - Videos of selected AR apps in education

    Cognitive domain: Learn about XR in education from specific examples

    Affective- see how other teachers have used AR to support their teaching, and see positive results. Helps to build positive attitude

    3.     Find, evaluate and select two AR technology/platforms could be useful in their teaching practice, relevant to the subject matter and content of teaching

    4.     Create one short lesson using the AR platform of their choice, test it with at least one user.



    Unit 3: Applying AR in the classroom


    - Highlight some highly rated AR apps

    - Links on how to install and instructions on how to start using some common apps

    - Examples of use of these apps in teaching

    - Some challenges of using AR and how to address them

    - View sample lesson plans using AR developed by teachers

    - Develop a lesson plan incorporating AR

    Cognitive: get hands on experience with using XR in teaching, by experimenting with some apps and developing a sample lesson plan

    Affective: Learners could get excited about the technology, find it easy and fun to use, and see that it is relatively easy to incorporate it in their teaching.

    References and Resources

    GeorgiaTech (2014). AR SPOT: An augmented-reality programming environment for children. Retrieved from

    Klopfer, E. & Sheldon, J. (2010). Augmenting your own reality: Student authoring of science-based augmented reality games. New Directions for Youth Development, 128 (Winter), 85–94.

    Liarokapis, F., & Anderson, E. F. (2010). Using Augmented Reality as a Medium to Assist Teaching in Higher Education. Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the European Association for Computer Graphics (Eurographics 2010), Education Program, Eurographics Association, Norrköping, Sweden, 4-7 May, 9-16, 2010.

    Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, and Z. I. Ivanova. “EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS WITH AUGMENTED REALITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION.” BALTIC HUMANITARIAN JOURNAL, vol. 10, no. 34, Feb. 2021. (Crossref),

    Wager, W. (1976). Instructional Curriculum Mapping

    Özdemir, Muzaffer, et al. “The Effect of Augmented Reality Applications in the Learning Process: A Meta-Analysis Study.” Eurasian Journal of Educational Research (EJER), vol. 74, Apr. 2018, pp. 165–86,