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Serious Technology Use: Dante, Milton and Greek Papyri brought to life using Augmented Reality -- 234 -- Short (oral) Paper

09:00 - 10:20 on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 in 2.218

The SCARLET project (Special Collections using Augmented Reality to enhance Learning and Teaching) addresses one of the main obstacles to the use of special collections in teaching and learning – the fact that students are required to consult archives, manuscripts and rare books within the controlled conditions of reading-rooms, isolated from much of the secondary, supporting materials and a growing mass of related digital assets. This is an unfamiliar experience for students who are accustomed to an information-rich wireless world, and it is therefore perceived to be a barrier to their use of special collections. SCARLET responds to these challenges by pioneering Augmented Reality (AR) using mobile devices to enhance students’ use of special collections (SC) in libraries. While viewing an original manuscript in the library, students can simultaneously experience the magic of original primary materials, whilst enhancing the learning experience by ‘surrounding’ the object with digitised content; images, texts, online learning resources, and information on related objects.

SCARLET is responding to the challenge set in the NMC's New Horizons report (2011), bringing together academic professionals from across The University of Manchester, combining specialist knowledge of pedagogy, and teaching with special collections and technical and e-learning expertise. This uniquely positions the project compared to other educational experiments with AR. By taking advantage of the team's diverse academic expertise, learning and teaching is embedded at the heart of the project, ensuring that the focus remains on the student experience and not the technology. Student evaluation was critical to the success of the project, with their learning experience feeding into an iterative development of the application created.

SCARLET demonstrates a collaborative approach to enhancing the student experience at a research-intensive university, against a backdrop of increased student fees and rising student expectations. It also demonstrates use of innovative technology in research-led humanities courses, taught by award winning academics, based around valuable primary materials. The outcomes of this work could be highly influential in demonstrating how other institutions could use AR to enhance the learning experience across the curriculum.

The session will describe innovative work to evaluate AR's effectiveness in helping students use new technology with rare, primary research resources. It will outline development of SCARLET, evaluation activities to understand how AR can support student learning and contribute to problem-based learning, a review of lessons learned and implications for the wider community.

The session will be relevant to educators, teachers and researchers with an interest in use of educational technologies in education and research. It will also be of interest to staff supporting these types of activities.


Hi Just to let you know I am chairing your session I look forward to meeting you if you have any slides to share you can do that here by attaching them to a comment.


Sunday, 9 September 2012, 16:00

Hi Vicki, I'm using Prezi (so I'll get to the room in plenty of time to make sure it works and will bring a back-up!), this is the link: Please drop me an email if you need to contact me (
Thanks and see you on Wednesday, Laura

Monday, 10 September 2012, 10:04