One of the things that you get to do as a graduate student is write, and write, and then write some more. In this blog, I want to share a little bit about that process by providing an overview of a manuscript writing experience on mixed reality (MR) technology paper. We began writing a paper on a HoloLens Research project in the Fall 2019 semester, which was published by the Research in Learning Technology Journal in February 2020.
The head-mounted mixed reality device called the Microsoft HoloLens is one of the versatile emerging technology tools available in the ETC Research Lab located at 326 Willard Hall, College of Education and Human Sciences of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. It is a wearable Windows 10 computer that allows interaction with mixed reality allowing the user to engage in complete spatial and tactile acuity (Essmiller et al., 2020).
I have observed several visitors come to the lab to have fun using the HoloLens which is clearly a technological improvement to the regular head mounted virtual reality goggles. Most of the visitors are amazed by what they are able to accomplish after using the HoloLens for the first time. First-time users of HoloLens in the lab are initially confused about its mode of operation, but through a little guidance and trial and error coupled with time, they learned how to navigate the device using basic hand gestures along with their voices, which serve as input commands to the device. Within 5 minutes of their interactions with the Hololens, it is interesting to notice that most first-time visitors were able to perform simple tasks such as browsing the Internet, checking their email, playing 3D games, taking pictures, recording and sharing videos with the Hololens.
Our Lab Director is always encouraging us to translate what we observed in the lab into scholarship. This has been the utmost goal of all the lab facilitators, just as Kathy Essmiller, a doctoral student from the Educational Technology program who was inspired to carry out a study involving the HoloLens. Kathy subsequently worked with a project team from the Lab which was made up of the Lab Director, Dr. Tutaleni Asino and five other doctoral students all from the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Aviation to kick start the HoloLens Research Manuscript project. The official title of the manuscript is Exploring Mixed Reality Based on Self-Efficacy and Motivation of Users.
The project team collected data from a total of 63 college students over the age of 18 years using the ETC Research Lab between the middle of Spring of 2019 Semester to early Fall of 2019 Semester. Each study participant was handed the HoloLens to complete one out of three tasks before answering a paper questionnaire that consisted of 22 questions using a 7-point Likert Scale. The data analysis was done in the lab using SPSS data editor loaded on the lab workstations as well as project meetings both in-person and on Zoom all facilitated within the lab. The entire project took about six months from the time of the first draft submission in August 2019 to the final date of publication in February 2020.
From my perspective, the project was successful because of the hardware and software facilities made available in the ETC Research Lab such as the HoloLens, the Smart Boards, iPads, desktop computers, and SPSS software used on the project. All the graduate students who worked on the project learned on the go with the guidance of the Lab Director. I can confidently say, the ability to learn on the job is a very tangible experience I gained from the project. For being part of the lab facilitators, this experience provided learning opportunities for me as an emerging scholar in Educational Technology for which I will forever be grateful. Such opportunities for meaningful learning through the use of mixed reality are enticing and the lab is ever ready to host impactful projects in any area of emerging technologies.
Essmiller, K., Asino, T. I., Ibukun, A., Alvarado-Albertorio, F., Chaivisit, S., Do, T., & Kim, Y. (2020). Exploring mixed reality based on self-efficacy and motivation of users. Research in Learning Technology, 28. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v28.2331