Home > Research > Project 17

Fostering Historical Reasoning and Emotional Engagement with Location-based Augmented Reality and Tour-guide Prompts: Identifying Design Recommendations for Emerging Educational Technology



  • Jason Harley (U. of Alberta, Theme 2)
  • Susanne Lajoie (McGill U., Theme 1)
  • Eric Poitras (U. of Utah, Theme 1)

Research Assistants:

  • Amanda Jarrell
  • Tara Tressel
  • Laura Pipe


As technology becomes more ubiquitous and handheld devices more common, there is great potential for augmented reality (AR) approaches to foster learning in-the-wild. In other words, a mobile phone can be used to augment one’s learning about the world around them, creating new and countless potential opportunities for informal learning as well as guided learning that takes place outside of the classroom. AR supplements reality (rather than replacing it like virtual reality [VR]) with digital information designed to be relevant to the activity learners are engaging in with an AR-supported device. In the case of history, this information could include texts about the history of a site, pictures of what it looked like in the past, an audio tour that describes a historical timeline, or a video that provides a tour of historically-meaningful but difficult to access areas such as a bell tower.

For this project, we will evaluate an extended set of prompts and feedback provided by a human guide to an undergraduate learner to see if they enhance learning outcomes and the incidence of positive emotions (from self-reports and an electrodermal activation bracelet). We will also investigate the user experience of the mobile AR app, the MTL McCord Urban Museum in order to extend and formalize open-ended suggestions from our prior studies (Harley et al., 2016), help establish usability guidelines, and better understand the relationship between discrete elements of user experience and emotions and learning outcomes.