Informal Learning with Extended Reality Environments: Current Trends in Museums, Heritage, and Tourism

This chapter discusses the capabilities of extended reality technology in informal learning environments, such as museums and cultural heritage sites. Recent developments in extended reality technologies have led to increased integration into these informal learning spaces and have heightened the need for a systematic investigation into the affordances of modern multimedia representations spanning tangible to virtual mediums. These affordances vary across settings, ranging from personalizing learning experiences, increasing engagement through interactive activities, and augmenting exhibits with rich multimedia content. The chapter critically appraises several affordances of extended reality technologies while expanding on these notions by outlining the cognitive theory of multimedia learning to inform practical instructional design principles. Drawing on case examples from their own research with tangible and virtual museum objects in these settings, the authors explore and discuss how extended reality technologies can serve to both collect and analyze ambient data in real time. The authors claim that ambient data will become increasingly prevalent in such settings and critical to gain insights into visitor experience and promote meaningful and engaging learning experiences. They discuss the implications of their findings for practice and suggest directions for future research.

Orr, M., Poitras, E., & Butcher, K. R. (2021). Informal learning with extended reality environments: Current trends in museums, heritage, and tourism. In V. Geroimenko (Ed.), Augmented Reality in Tourism, Museums and Heritage: A New Technology to Inform and Entertain (pp. 3-26). Springer International Publishing.