Digital learning environment utilizing AR

The Ylä-Savo Vocational College (YSAO) is an active education provider that offers vocational education and training, additional training and apprenticeship training that 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


Ylä-Savo Vocational College had a project in the field of land construction for the digitization of the infrastructure sector which had the aim to enrich learning environments with Augmented Reality (AR). The goal of the excavator learning environment was to develop new and practical digital teaching and learning methods for performing a pre-trip inspection on an excavator. A further aim was to support students’ personal learning paths and individual learning.

The created software was also expected to have great development potential. The development project emphasized the extensibility and user-friendliness of the solution. The intention was to create a solution applicable to various fields and use technologies that support learning optimally.


  1. Custom web application
    A virtual environment that students use to learn to operate an excavator with the help of 3D models displayed on web browsers on a computer and mobile device.
  2. Mobile application for the Android operating system
    A personal learning application for students utilizing AR technology that is free to download in an app store.
    – Students register to the app using their own IDs.
    – Students use the app to test their ability to identify excavator components and perform a pre-trip inspection.
    – The app retrieves the locations of AR markers set on a real excavator from the server. The AR markers are also displayed on the student’s app and clicking on the marker will show the AR content.
  3. Integration and interfaces to the client’s learning platform
    Enable examining students’ performance in the education institution’s system for further development.


The excavator learning environment demonstrates the benefits of the digitization of education. The modern learning environment and gamification elements diversify students’ learning experiences and enable providing new, memorable learning content that is easier to digest.

For instance, the 3D models on the web app provide a more illustrative method for learning to identify the parts of an excavator compared to traditional learning methods. We created the solution to be applicable to learning to use other machinery later: teachers can use the web app tools and the ready-made 3D model to create new learning materials independently in the future.

Using the AR application as a part of the learning path makes it easier for students to learn practical work tasks, and the versatile learning materials support competence development among diverse learners. It’s also easy to include mobile learning material in practical training. Students get to learn in a genuine situation involving real machinery and equipment.

From the perspective of further development, integrating the excavator learning environment into the system used for monitoring students’ learning helps teachers follow and assess how their students are doing individually and at the group level. For instance, the students take quizzes to practice their skills to ensure that they can correctly identify excavator components and perform a pre-trip inspection.

Our client was so satisfied with the digital, enriched learning environment that the college also commissioned a more extensive, scalable learning system also applicable to other fields of education. Read more about the follow-up project!

Project Manager’s comments on YSAO’s project

“As Hurja is experienced in implementing AR projects, we knew that we’ll be able to carry out the whole project in accordance with the customer’s needs. Thanks to our prior experience, we were able to find suitable technologies and implementation methods, and our team’s work with the client was smooth throughout the entire project.

The client provided us with comprehensive help in testing the solution in genuine environments and teaching situations. The strong substance knowledge of our client helped us to target our development efforts to the right areas, and our collaboration led to an excellent solution that will also bring long-term benefits.

In general, the development and digitalisation of teaching are important topics. A well-built digital learning environment has been found to facilitate and improve learning in various contexts. Indeed, this project serves as flagship and pioneer for more extensive further development and longer-term collaboration.”

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