Implementing Universal Design through augmented-reality game-based learning

Amarpreet Gill, Derek Irwin, Dave Towey, Yanhui Zhang, Pinzhuang Long, Linjing Sun, Wanling Yu, Yaxin Zheng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Technology integration in higher education (HE) provides educators with the opportunity to design stimulating learning environments, especially in design and engineering education (DEE) where it plays a unique role in nurturing creativity, problem-solving and innovation. This study investigates the integration of an augmented reality (AR) educational game in DEE, focusing on the teaching of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) principles. The primary aim of this research is to enhance traditional DfMA teaching and learning (T&L) practices by applying innovative T&L strategies. The resulting AR DfMA game, developed using digital game-based learning, microlearning and collaborative learning techniques, aligns with the Universal Design for Learning framework to create an inclusive learning environment that encourages participation from all students and supports several learning styles.

The study tests the individual features designed for personal study opportunities to discover which elements are optimal in that environment, and then on the proposed in-class group components of the AR game, involving 68 participants from the appropriate program, though it is not currently implemented as part of a module. We utilize a mixed methods approach to examine the students’ experience and identify key design features that contribute to an inclusive educational experience. The findings highlight positive student experiences, and preferences for hands-on engagement, multimodal content, and collaborative activities. The AR DfMA game also has the potential to enhance intrinsic motivation and create an active and inclusive learning environment. Challenges and areas for improvement are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100070
JournalComputers & Education: X Reality
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Augmented reality
  • digital games
  • Microlearning (ML)
  • Collaborative learning
  • Engineering education
  • educational technology


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