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Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is overlaying information in the physical world. In this way, it "augments" the real world. 

The IDEA Hub has explored a number of ways in which AR might be used in education. This has included the creation of posters that contain augmented reality in the form of text, videos, and audio and the use of the Hololens to demonstrate it to visiting students. The potential for expanded use of augmented reality in the future is huge. As such, the IDEA Hub will continue to explore the possibilities.

AR in Nursing Posters

The IDEA Hub met with faculty in the College of Nursing in 2018 to discuss the possibility of using augmented reality with posters. After understanding how it might work, the faculty wanted to use an AR poster for student assessment in patient care. Two posters were created, scripts were written, and local talent used to create augmented reality experiences for nursing students. In this case, students were introduced to two fictional patients, listened to “relatives” (AR video), were provided with patients’ stats from nurses (AR video), and worked in groups to determine the next steps. This was done by pointing a device at one of several target images to trigger the videos. Students work in groups to determine the next steps of patient treatment based on the information they have obtained from the AR poster.

After this successful endeavor into the use of AR for student learning, nursing faculty have expanded the use to an AR poster for a mental health unit. This provides a unique way to assess adolescent mental health conditions while protecting students from potentially unpredictable patients. In addition, this program has expanded to using AR posters for leadership training.

Mark Panning and his interns used Unity to create these experiences. Apps for these experiences are available in the Apple and Android app stores. When paired with the available posters, students can interact with these experiences anywhere, including at our Phoenix campus.

Augmented Reality for Class Projects

Sue Calef, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Theology, teaches a course entitled, “Bible, Spirituality, and American Public Life.” It is designated as a technology course. As such, she came to the Radlab and Reinert Library in pursuit of innovative ideas for her students to experience. It was recommended that they use augmented reality to create interactive posters for the final course project. We introduced Dr. Calef to an augmented reality tool called Zapworks and provided licenses to her students. She demonstrated how it worked and provided training for her students. The students created posters with target images that played videos, slide shows, and text that further explained the topic of each poster.


During February, 2020, students placed these posters on the interior windows of the Reinert Library with instructions on how to download the free app (Zappar) and explore the information through augmented reality. These posters were displayed for the Creighton community and visitors to explore.

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