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Exploring Students Use of Online Sources in Small Groups With an Augmented Reality-based Activity

This research project was conducted in one semester. It included submitting an IRB, creating an interview protocol  instrument and developing a mobile outdoors gamified system to conduct the research project. The system developed was a gamified activity that distributes information via AR on mobile devices using GUIDIGO as the technology platform. Students in small groups used the mobile app outdoors to simulate a small group environment and how online content is identified as correct or trustworthy. There were several levels of difficulty in finding online sources (see artifact). To get an idea of the user experience you can:

  1. click on the "try game" button which will let you preview the game online

  2. download the guidigo app to see it's full features

  3. get a glimpse of the game by looking at the "game pictorial" button

For this qualitative research project 4 small groups were observed during the mobile outdoor activity and video recorded with a go pro camera.  The group then filled out a demographic form and SUS usability scale. The project concluded with a focus group interview. Data was analyzed and a journal article submitted and published.

Research Internship: SISLT 9480

Exploring Students Use of Online Sources in Small Groups With an Augmented Reality-based Activity: Group Dynamics Negatively Affect Identification of Authentic Online Information

Abstract: 

In this study initially, we wanted to explore students' use of online sources and how they use online information to try to persuade each other when they get the group assignment to identify misleading from correct information. We grounded our concept from “OnLife” (Floridi, 2015) in which students used online information to find arguments for their actions. We created an AR-based campus tour for mobile devices in which students discussed content, identified correctness of online information and were asked to made a group decision. Four groups have been studied. Video-recorded observation and interviews were applied. During data analysis we found results that point to four distinctive patterns of relationships between social in-group dynamics and the identification of authentic online information: a) network of equal members, b) omission of one person, c) one person guides the others, d) no collaborative reasoning. The result is a ‘Happy Surprise’, it shows that social dynamics affected group performance stronger than equal access to online sources. Equal access to online information did not lead to a reasonable based-on-facts discussion. Group dynamics diminished the advantage of equal access and impacted decision-making more than the information itself. Because of the small study size, generalization of results is limited, but lays a foundation for follow-up or experimental studies.