The following post is in regards to an Interactive Learning Resource, Augmented Reality Application with Unity and Vuforia, being peer reviewed be me in fulfillment of the requirements of the EDCI 335 course at the University of Victoria, Summer 2019 semester.
I noted the use of Google Slides which is a nice use of technology. Google Slides has great functionality with a simple user interface and beautiful default aesthetics. In terms of content sharing and group collaborative efforts, Google’s suite of SAAS (software as a service) is amongst the top available and a great choice. It’s also nice to see that the team required it’s learners to install and configure software, which is the utilization of technology from the teams perspective since they’re both utilizing and demonstrating it, but also encouraging users to potentially step outside of their comfort zone and use the technology for themselves.
It’s nice that the learning outcomes for each section are stated at the beginning of each section slide. An embedded tutorial video is one of the first things that a learner encounters in the slide content titled “Stage 1”. The video content is directly related, and helps to fulfill the learning outcomes for that section which were explicitly stated (in part) as: creating a project, making a basic user interface, and testing the functionality of the application.
One small criticism at this point, not specifically about the videos, is that, prior to engaging with the sections, I am unsure of what kinds of prior knowledge this tutorial expects the learner to have or what the course outline is. I’m not sure if the requirements of the project explicitly stated that this is required, but I do find them handy (kind of like a course syllabus). However, we are adult professionals taking a university course so we are expected some level of proficiency, especially with technology, but it would be helpful to activate that part of my brains learning center by having a slide explicitly outlining something like:
A learner in this course will create an interactive augmented reality application (etc)
A learner is expected to be comfortable with installation and use of intermediate level software creation applications (Unity) (etc)
This course is broken up into 5 stages. In each stage you will learn the following:
Stage 1: Install and set up Unity, and create a simple Android application
Stage 2: Make your Android application interactive
Stage 3: …etc
However, in watching the video in section 1, the video alleviates concerns about prior knowledge and the fact that we’re using a fairly advanced software application since the narrator is very well spoken, and clear in his articulation and meaning, making use of the program a breeze. In my experience with intermediate or advanced development environments, video tutorials are a godsend, and this one is similar in that regard. I was able to follow the directions of the video which had little to no ambiguity at all.
After watching more videos I began to recognize that the embedded video content is central to the Interactive Learning Resource. The slides are simply a guide to the videos, which are the key components of the lesson. So, if the learning resource itself was JUST a video, or series of videos, absent of any slides to guide it, then I believe that the learning resource nearly fully meets the requirements of this assignment, and that the slides themselves are a bonus. However, I maintain that the course outline & overall learning outcomes should be present, either in the slides, or as a separate video module which accomplishes the same task.
At first glance during a perusal through the slides, I noticed that the presentation was well laid out and appealing to the eye. In addition, the slides themselves were well organized and never cluttered. Essentially, the presentation of the content was done quite well. I never got the feeling quite common in many other learning resources where I thought to myself “great another wall of text”. It’s refreshing to see a minimalist presentation which can lend itself to a better learning outcome since I won’t find myself skimming over large swaths of material just to get through the content. It seems that the content that is present is worth reading, and it can be read quickly. It’s to the point, which is desirable in my humble opinion.
I found that the lesson was very well planned and executed. I was able to follow the steps without any hiccups, and I found that I certainly learned something about Unity and Vuforia. The glossary was a very nice touch, and functioned as a quick reference guide. In addition, the links and helpful resources section was a nice touch. These sections also served as references to the software resources that were utilized and mentioned throughout the videos. Prior to watching this tutorial I was quite mystified about how augmented reality applications could actually be created. Granted, I never bothered to do research about it, but after utilizing this resource, any fears about getting into AR have been dealt with, and actually has piqued my interest.
The resource was certainly interactive. Installation of the software, manipulation of all the settings and creation of content, including the use of my own images and textures to create a ball that could actually roll around in my living room was both enlightening and encouraging, since it sparked a sense of creativity and motivation to do something more customized (AR games come to mind).
In terms of spelling and grammar, the slides themselves were done quite well with very few spelling or grammar errors. The narration in the videos were pleasant and easy to follow with nothing “cringeworthy” that comes to mind.
I enjoyed following the steps in the learning resource, and, if this resource was just one module of many, I think I would certainly continue to learn successfully in this way. Thanks to the team members: Noor Mumin, Rythm Nagpal, Jack Liu, and Tyler Reese for making a great learning resource. Please accept my review for your consideration.