An Evaluation of an AR Educational Game in Design and Engineering Education: A Students-as-Partners Approach to Curriculum Innovation

Amarpreet Singh Gill, Derek Irwin, Dave Towey, Yanhui Zhang, Eva Tsang (Editor), Kam Cheong Li (Editor), Philips Wang (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Purpose – University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) has been exploring the potential of an augmented-reality (AR) educational game to help teach Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) concepts within design and engineering education. Guided by the principles of universal design for learning (UDL), which emphasises the use of engaging and diversified learning tools to support heterogeneous learners, this paper reports on the on-going development of the AR game by an interdisciplinary team of UNNC students and staff.
Design/methodology/approach – This study’s target users are undergraduate Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering students from all year groups. The instrumentation includes a demographic questionnaire, Likert-scale surveys, and student reflections. The study aims to understand the students’ individual differences, experiences, and perceptions of UDL in the AR game.
Findings – We expect that the findings will: provide insights into the student experience; identify (complementary) strengths across traditional and digital instruction, especially in relation to UDL principles which promote the creation of varied, accessible, and engaging educational experiences for all students; and help better understand attitudes towards the use of digital experiences in education. These findings will help to guide policy on the use and implementation of technology in the classroom, and on instructional design of AR learning experiences, particularly from the perspective of student involvement in the process. This paper will be of interest to teachers, practitioners, and educational institutions.
Originality/value/implications – Mastery of DfMA is very important for design and engineering education: it enables students to design products that can be manufactured; improves material optimisation; reduces production times; and improves overall quality. However, student feedback and published research suggest that the topic is often complex, undervalued, and mundane. Our new design integrates physical objects, AR guidance, group work and independent reviews. The use of diversified learning components and AR is relatively novel in this context and can revitalize the subject by providing each student an enhanced learning experience that is engaging, visually rich, and mentally stimulating. This study aims to provide insight into the challenges faced when developing AR educational content, and the learning benefits of the UDL-guided technology. Our research thus encourages educators and educational institutions to embrace technology and modern teaching methods, such as gamification and AR technology, to produce diversified learning experiences that resonate with and inspire modern learners.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 International Conference on Open and Innovative Education (ICOIE 2022)
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Metropolitan University
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2023


  • Augmented Reality
  • Digital Pedagogy
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Gamification
  • Students-as-Partners
  • Design and Engineering Education


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