The Ylä-Savo Vocational College (YSAO) is an active education provider that offers vocational education and training, additional training and apprenticeship training and also participates in development projects in its region. Nearly 4,000 students study and over 200 employees work at YSAO. The college has six learning areas and seven education units.
“The use and demand of digital tools and learning environments are growing in vocational education and training. Hurja Solutions did a great job in adapting to the needs of the Ylä-Savo Vocational College for producing a brand-new digital learning environment.”Jani Pitkänen, Project Specialist/Teacher, YSAO
A need for a follow-up project emerged during the development of the college’s excavator learning environment: our client was excited about the augmented learning environment and wanted a more extensive, scalable learning system also applicable to other fields of study. YSAO wished for a system that teachers can use to produce 3D and AR learning materials on the topics of their choice.
Creating a new learning system adapting to various fields required further development of the excavator learning environment, expansion of the custom content management system and introduction of a 3D editor as a tool for a broad user group. Among other things, there was a need for a user-friendly measurement application that would enable teachers to create their own AR markers for learning materials utilizing AR.
In the first phase of the follow-up project, the excavator solution was expanded from its original learning subject, an excavator, to a tractor. The learning environment for a tractor is similar in practice:
After the successful implementation with a tractor, the follow-up project proceeded to expand the solution related to the content management of the learning materials, making the solution suitable for a variety of fields and a larger user group. The background control system was also integrated into the YSAO user identification system as well as the It’s Learning platform used for monitoring students’ performance.
Components of the follow-up project:
We implemented content management as a system customised to YSAO’s needs (web application) that enables teachers to create digital 3D and AR learning environments with the 3D editor created in the project. We also built a measurement application that teachers use to set markers in their AR learning materials.
In practice, teachers can use the measurement application to “measure”, i.e. set markers created in content management on real-life targets. The digital learning material linked to the markers can consist of images, audio files, pdf documents or quizzes. This enables attaching learning material created by a teacher to any real-life targets or equipment, providing students with an illustrative, augmented learning environment, whatever the study topic or field of study.
For instance, students learning to identify different parts of machinery and perform a pre-trip inspection can familiarize themselves with the topic using an AR app on their mobile device, study the content displayed to them at the markers, and take quizzes related to the topics.
Digital learning content created by the teachers can be accessed through AR markers in the students’ 3D and AR environments. For instance, students learning to identify different parts of machinery and perform a pre-trip inspection can familiarize themselves with the topic using an AR app on their mobile device, study the content displayed to them at the markers, and finally take a quiz on the topic. Students’ work is automatically recorded on the It’s Learning platform that teachers use to follow their students’ progress.
For the purpose of examining several separate learning environments, we also implemented changes and updates required by the students’ mobile app system and content management expansion. The students’ mobile app is available on both Android and iOS and can be downloaded at the App Store and Google Play.
The background control system is available for teachers of all fields of education. Teachers can use the system to create digital learning content and produce materials on the subjects of their choice for their student groups at any time. With the custom web app we created for YSAO, users can download 3D models of the desired targets, process 3D environments and produce AR content using the app tools and a measurement app without previous programming experience.
The excavator learning environment, which was made to work well and includes great potential for expansions, served as a great MVP model for the more extensive project. The phasing of the follow-up project enabled making progress with the development work in smaller sections. The process included iterating and brainstorming with the client and learning from the previous phases. Organizing the project in phases made the monitoring of the progress clear and it was easy to stick to the plan without any major surprises or risk of going over budget.
Similarly as in the excavator learning environment project, a successfully accomplished digitization of learning can bring many benefits. The versatile learning material and gamification features support learners at the same time as the user-friendly background control system helps teachers follow the progress of their student groups. The illustrative learning environment helps the learning of practical work tasks, and it makes it easy for teachers to make use of the opportunities brought by digitization and enriched learning materials.
Want to hear more about this project and other AR solutions?
Contact our Sales Director, Mikko Heiskanen:
+358 (0)40 838 1213