We use Augmented Reality presentation and sensing technologies to integrate design studio learning models into screen-based classrooms. The goal of this approach is to create STEM learning experiences that encourage creativity, innovation and help build strong peer learning environments. To accomplish this goal we implement room-scale augmented reality technology with projection-based presentation and sensing technologies -- projecting on surfaces and using depth sensing for unencumbered interaction (see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/roomalive/). This approach allows everyone in the space to participate in the experience, and the cost is fixed regardless of the number of participants.
Two practices from the studio model for learning we build upon are:
- Pinups: In design studios, students will pin their work (completed parts, sketches, parts in-development) on a wall, and the teacher and students will walk the walls in order to comment on the pinned-up work. Pinups make both the artifacts and process of design work visible, and make it possible to compare and contrast approaches when all students work is pinned up at once.
- Meetups: Students working together in a design studio can look over to see what others are doing. Collaboration is fluid and at multiple levels. Sometimes, two students move their work near one another to work together (literally, "closely"). Sometimes, two students just look at each other's work to share ideas.
Lab activities focus on understanding how to build interactive computing environments that directly augment a user's senses with computer-generated material. Researchers are interested in augmenting the user's perception, and place particular emphasis on the interaction between the users and their environment.