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Beyond the Comfort Zone: An Autoethnographic Study of Implementing Augmented Reality in Vocational Education

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date15/05/2024
Number of pages15
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event14th International Conference on Networked Learning - UM Valletta Campus, Valletta, Malta
Duration: 15/05/202417/05/2024
Conference number: 14TH


Conference14th International Conference on Networked Learning
Abbreviated titleNLC2024
Internet address


The primary objective of this autoethnographic study is to investigate how lecturers’ attempts to use augmented reality (AR) in the vocational educational context contribute to their transformative learning (TL) journey. The first author of this paper, referred to using the pronoun ‘her/she’, is a vocational lecturer pursuing her doctoral degree in technology-enhanced learning (TEL), has examined the evolution of her pedagogical perspectives by critically analysing and reflecting on her experiences learning and adopting AR technology in her anatomy classrooms. She also explored and unpacked her educational experiences in the past and the social and cultural contexts in which they occurred to gain deeper insight into her previous and current beliefs about TEL. Her autoethnographic writing in this paper shares her struggles and growth, underscoring the significance of scaffolding and professional networked learning opportunities in nurturing transformative learning in lecturers. In collaboration with the second author, her doctoral supervisor, the first author has drawn more meaningful and robust findings from collecting and comparing other lecturers’ experiences implementing AR in similar pedagogical situations. The authors’ discussion sheds light on the often obscure process of how educational professionals challenge and change their long-held pedagogical perspectives on the usefulness of technology for their teaching and student learning. The paper also reveals the cognitive, emotional, and social dimensions of professional learning and highlights the role of professional networks in facilitating transformative learning experiences.
The findings, derived from personal reflective narratives, self and member-checking interviews, and TL analysis, suggest that a strong sense of ownership, extensive classroom experiences, and commitment to critical reflection played crucial roles in supporting the learning journey. However, this experience transcended the mere acquisition of new knowledge; the study depicts a transformative journey wherein theory recognised a fundamental shift in perception through instrumental learning, emphasising the evaluation of cause-and-effect relationships via critical reflection of actions. Therefore, within the realm of TL, this study may contribute to theory by asserting that critical reflection not only serves as a medium for learning but also functions as a tool for shaping the process of learning itself. The dissemination of such pivotal insights becomes imperative for educators, empowering them to make judicious and well-informed decisions, thereby fortifying their preparedness for a transformative journey that, if embarked on without adequate support, may prove elusive.