The scientists of Universidad Carlos III en Madrid at Spain has developed software for augmented reality glasses, which allows professors to actually see if their students are actually understanding class material.
This proposed system is called Augmented Lecture Feedback System or ALFs. To work this system, professors are required to wear an augmented reality glass and it will show them symbols just above the head of each student for facilitating communication between professors and students.
In practice, students will be activating the symbols through their cellphones, allowing them to indicate if are following the explanations of the professors. Similarly, professors will able to see a pie chart giving an aggregate of the answers given by the students.
Telmo Zattaonandia, one of the university researchers said, “Many of [the students] are not keen on or feel inhibited by participating in the class. Sometimes they feel shy or they have fear to expose themselves in front of their classmates. An AR [augmented reality] device … provides a communication channel unavailable previously between students and teachers, which is private. ”
However, the weight of these glasses is a problem for many like Ignacio Aedo, who is a professor in the computer science department. According to him “Although the models of AR glasses available at the moment are suitable for research, they are still too heavy and cumbersome to be used on a daily basis.” However, he also added that they are developing more ergonomic models for easier use.
At present, the researchers are using a pair of Vuzix STAR 1200 and the logical next step is likely to be integrating ALFs into augmented reality application like Google Glasses.
Aedo further commented, “We are really looking forward to having a pair of Google Glass with us so we can develop a version of the ALF system for them. Of course it will be necessary to carry out some adjustments, as it seems that in this device only a small portion of the user’s vision is augmented. It is very likely that we will have to sacrifice the symbols over the students’ heads in favor of using pie charts and other ways of representing the summary of the responses from the students.”
The developers of ALF system are expecting to use this technology in other areas as well including conference talks and office presentations. Aedo added that “The main outcome of the system is that it provides a continuous flow of information from the audience.”