DCU leads EU’s €6.5m dive into future of teaching

15 Mar 2016

A new Horizon 2020 (H2020) project led by DCU is looking at teaching techniques, investigating how things like computer games or augmented reality (AR) could soon become the norm in classrooms.

Called Newton, the H2020 project is being headed up by Gabriel-Miro Muntean, a DCU academic who will lead a group of 14 (six universities, eight industry partners) to ‘reimagine’ the classroom.

In short, Muntean’s team will look at using gamification, multisensory and multimodal learning, interactive AR teaching assistants and a virtual experimental fabrication lab to ensure students stay engaged on multiple levels.

Interestingly, it also plans on reversing the attrition rate in STEM subjects. Muntean argues that current teaching techniques are ignoring technological advances, rather than using them to enhance learning experiences.

Newton, a force for good

“Newton will change that,” he says. “It is a very exciting prospect.” Newton, hopefully, will have exciting implications for students and providers of online STEM courses where the heavier detail in subjects can be explained through newer means.

Games and gamification could be used to stimulate and motivate students, with AR and avatars providing a more immersive, interactive learning process.

‘Immersive learning labs’ will be looked at to allow students to experiment in simulated environments, with multi-sensoral media encouraged, also.

The project will be tested in pilots across Europe, using a network of schools ‘permanently working on the development of good teaching practices’, according to the organisers.

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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