Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics


This article was written on 20 Dec 2015, and is filled under Volume 10 2015, Volume 10 No 3 & 4.

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Augmented Reality: What to Design?

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Technology in Education Column

by Dr Sandra Bassendowski

The Technology in Education column is written by one of our CNA Centennial 100 Award Winners, Dr. Sandra Bassendowski, who is a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Sandra recognized a need, and offered to write this important feature for the CJNI – this column is focused on how technology can be used in nursing education and by nurses in general. Sandra has been recognized by the Canadian Nurses’ Association, as well as the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association and the University of Saskatchewan for her inspiring, dedicated work in her educational practice.


Santa Cruz by Sandra Bassendowski In November 2016, I attended the 8th International Conference on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies in Santa Cruz, California. I attended several informative and interesting sessions throughout the conference but the one that caught my attention was a presentation on Augmented Reality (AR). The presenter had several teaching strategies that were applicable to the inter-professional audience and as I sat in the room, I kept thinking, “How can I adapt this strategy to support the learning outcomes in my nursing courses?” She had each person in the audience use their smart phones and download a couple of apps such as Layar, Elements4, and DAQRI in order to participate in the teaching strategies. I have explored AR in the past but usually found that it used highly sophisticated equipment that I did not have access to for the students in my classrooms. But with the use of smart phones, this approach changes the access that faculty and students have to the teaching strategies. “Mobile augmented reality sensitizes a new dimension of perception to see, hear and immerse in real world via interactive and enriched look and feel on physical world objects/places” (Khan, Khusro, Rauf, & Mahfooz, 2015).

Augmented RealityThese authors suggest that AR now has unlimited uses with the advantage of portability that comes from using smart phones, the focus on self- learning, and the overall acceptance rate of adopting applications for teaching and learning. Since I returned home from the conference, I have been thinking about how to design, create, and deliver AR strategies that will engage students in the content of the courses that I teach. However, I need to keep in mind the learning intents of the courses, the pedagogical significance of the strategies, and the triggers that I will need to use to move the strategy from reality to virtual environments! Again, I am reminded of the phrase- Pedagogy first, then the tools of technology! The presenter talked about some of the strategies that she had previously created and when she showed them to her children, one of them said to her-“So what is the point of this? I would rather just work on the math problems without the virtual characters.”Take a look at your nursing courses, where and how could you use AR to support student learning? What comes to mind? I am on sabbatical for the next few months and one of my goals is to develop an AR strategy that can be used to enhance and support student learning. Keep in touch- I will let you know how it goes…



Santa Cruz: Sandra Bassendowski

Keyboard: Purchased from 123rf



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