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Augmented and Virtual Reality Dioramas and Arboretums for XR Exhibitions, Engagement and Learning Design

Apr 11, 2023


This demonstration and talk will present two products developed as digital twins of nature using geospatial datasets, visualized in an immersive augmented reality application, The AR Perpetual Garden App, and a virtual reality application, The Virtual UCF Arboretum. Both have been used in IRB approved research studies on learning outcomes that have shown learning gains up to 40% but were no different than a booklet. Many important emotions were found to be strongly, positively, and significantly correlated to learning gains, increasing engagement, motivation, and possibly long-term retention. The design process, development, and evaluation of the learning outcomes will be covered. This talk may be of interest to anyone who wishes to construct effective immersive informal learning applications of the natural world for communication, learning, and engagement.


Maria C. R. Harrington Ph.D. is an American information scientist and artist. She is an Associate Professor of Digital Media, in the Games and Interactive Media Program, Nicholson School of Communication and Media at the University of Central Florida with a secondary joint appointment in the UCF Learning Sciences Cluster. Research focus is on aesthetics in the perceptual ambient array and information science theory as it relates to beauty found in natural environments. Beauty as the most salient signal in the environment and design factor used to intentionally and deliberately trigger human exploration and inquiry to drive informal learning application design is the focus.  

Contact: https://communication.ucf.edu/person/maria-c-r-harrington