UNED, the Spanish University for Distance Education, is the only state-run Spanish distance-learning university and it is the largest university in Spain. Since 1972, UNED has been a centre of excellence throughout the world with the aim of making higher education accessible to anyone. UNED is one of the largest European Universities with around 220,000 students, most of them adult students, and near 1,500 teachers. UNED focuses mainly on distance learning and continuous education. It delivers degrees in most disciplines including Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Humanities, Arts and Letters. UNED also delivers many open courses for continuous education, having more than 30,000 students. Recently, UNED’s teaching methodology incorporates intensive and extensive use of e-learning resources including interactive video lectures, remote and virtual labs, e-learning platforms, learning objects, augmented reality, mobile devices, and biometrics.
Researchers at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (DIEEC) of UNED have more than twenty years of experience covering different developments in the area of Technology Innovation and Enhanced Learning and their applications. The department has taken part in multiple R&D projects focusing on the four areas of knowledge that comprise the Department: Electronics Technology, Telematics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Systems and Control Engineering. These projects can be divided into three types: projects related to distance education and implementation of multimedia techniques; development and use of simulation tools for the design and implementation of electric circuits, electronic, computer architecture, etc.; design and development of training tools and platforms with emphasis on the use and customization of collaborative tools.
The DIEEC provides competence in distance learning, as well as application of e-learning systems and mobile devices. Several projects relevant for the Go-Lab work, such as Remote-labs access in Internet-based Performance-centred Learning Environment for Curriculum Support (RIPLECS), Performance-centred Adaptive Curriculum for Employment Needs (PAC), mobile Performance Support for Vocational Education and Training (mPSS), are being or have been carried out by the department. In Go-Lab, the Department is involved in WP4 (Go-Lab Infrastructure), WP5 (Go-Lab Portal) and WP9 (Dissemination and Exploitation).
EnredaMadrid project was designed to improve student engagement in history learning by means of the use of mobile augmented reality treasure hunt. The project took place in Madrid with the objective of teaching the history of the city to the students and other participants of the experiment. Using mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), participants could study the history of the city with the help of a mobile application based on location and augmented reality. EnredaMadrid was part of a formal higher education environment, where some students could acquire 1 ECTS credit from a National Distance University in Spain.
The configuration of EnredaMadrid combined online training, with a work load of 17 hours in a web environment that enabled interaction between students and teachers, and face-to-face activities. The ICT gymkhana included a virtual route through the 17th century Madrid, where participants recreated the life of that time, playing the roles of different historical characters and passing tests and games associated to their roles. 441 people registered for the first experiment with an attendance of 48% to the face-to-face activity.
EnredaMadrid aimed to investigate if proven characteristics of Augmented Reality (AR) systems related to their potential to promote learning processes in scientific and engineering fields can be also applied to the domain of history learning. Evidence based on the answers to the participant questionnaire was gathered proving user satisfaction and progress on the history learning and knowledge acquisition derived from the implementation of the experiment.