CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)


College of Engineering and Computing


Martha Snyder

Committee Member

Gertrude Abramson

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus


Augmented Reality, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Game-Based Learning, Museum, Situated Learning, Virtual Reality


Recent advancements in the cost, availability, and capability of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices and software are spurring their mass distribution to the public. This fundamental shift in the use of AR and VR predominantly from military and academic research laboratories to the public presents new opportunities and challenges for the design of instructional technology. While studies of AR and VR have been conducted to inform the design of individual instructional products, few studies have focused on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) products in which AR and VR learners work together toward shared learning goals.

The museum education industry possesses unique and inherent characteristics that position it as a strong candidate for the development and deployment of CSCL-ARVR products. Tourism locations, such as museums, provide an exemplary environment for advanced learning technology experimentation in which information technology infrastructure and programs of instruction are often already in place and in which many tourists already possess smartphones and or tablets that may be used to mediate location-based educational experiences.

The goal was to conduct formative research to develop a tentative instructional design theory that can be used to guide the creation of CSCL-ARVR instructional products. Instructional design theory and software engineering practices were applied to guide the design of a CSCL-ARVR instructional product prototype to support museum education. The prototype, named Co-Tour, was designed and developed to enable remotely-located VR participants to collaborate with AR participants located within a tourism location to jointly navigate the location, examine exhibits and answer questions about exhibits related to a problem-based learning instance. Formative data were collected and analyzed, and the results were used to develop a tentative instructional design theory.

Mixed Reality Museum Co-Visit Theory is proposed to inform the design and development of CSCL-ARVR co-visitation experiences for museums. A theoretical framework was developed and was informed by CSCL, game-based learning, social constructivist theory, flow theory, and the construct of camaraderie. Five values supporting the goal were elaborated to guide theory methods production including fostering of collaboration, leveraging of informal learning activities, incorporation of motivational elements, favoring of loose organization, and provision an effective user interface. Future research should focus upon replication towards validation and generalizability of results and upon the broader museum going population.

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