ARIS sessions in the DL2LLab: Student visions of a futuristic UVic campus

We’ve had some great ARIS sessions in the DL2LLab these past couple weeks. This term I had the opportunity to work as a consultant for the ARIS (Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling) platform in a fourth year Technology & Society course, here atUVic. As a group project for #TS400, Professor David Leach asked his students to create an augmented reality guide or interactive tour of a futuristic UVic campus-their vision of what our campus may be like in 2035 (details here).

Students could choose the means to create these AG guides or tours, but since ARIS is a user-friendly platform (you do not have to know how to code or have a background in computer science to be able to create games or virtual tours with ARIS), it was the default option. One tech savvy team opted to code a RPG (role playing game) for their version of UVic in 2035, but the remaining groups chose ARIS to construct their visions of our campus 20 years in the future.

I was pleased with the students efforts to learn ARIS & rework their games – although ARIS is user-friendly, because each action/requirement/quest builds on one of these prior elements, they discovered that this can be time consuming & meticulous work, in order to make sure the game functions as you intend. I mentioned this during class visits, but since the groups hadn’t yet completely planned out the games, these necessary details weren’t as apparent as during a face-to-face meeting, where I could walk them through the steps with their game.

While demonstrating to a group of students how to make all objects/characters quick travel, so that we could test certain elements from the DL2LLab, I remarked that since I hadn’t yet play-tested their game, I didn’t have photos at the required locations to trigger certain actions.  One student then proceeded to show us how to move pictures on the map, so that we could in fact test every quest in their game from our current location- awesome! The group then headed out to do a final field play-test before submitting their project.

I vaguely recalled seeing the option of moving photos and recordings on the map in my own exploration of ARIS, but without a context of how this might be used, I had overlooked this capability during the pilot testing of my ARIS creation Explorez. This goes to show how we, as instructors, can also learn from this tech savvy generation of students, who have grown up maneuvering new technologies & online tools.

ARIS offers many excellent resources such as, the manualtraining and links & an 18 video playlist, which includes an ARIS description and demos of “how to” on YouTube. These resources -as well as some trial and error- allowed me to effectively learn to navigate the system. However, the students who came to see me at our DL2LLab expressed that they greatly appreciate the face-to-face instruction and guidance. I look forward to this occasion – with the ARIS team – during the ARIS summit at the GLS conference this June.

Bernadette Perry (@BernadettePer14)

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