Augmented Reality (AR) adds a digital layer to the physical world. This can be accessed by looking at physical objects through a smartphone or tablet device.

At the University of Derby, AR is currently being utilised in different ways across mixed subject areas. Projects have been designed to embed relevant employability skills within teaching and assessment, or to utilise the affordances of the technologies to enhance teaching practices.

Why would I use technology to do this?

The educational uses for Augmented Reality (AR) are being looked at very closely in the education sector. Augmented Reality offers “compelling applications for higher education; these technologies are poised to impact learning by transporting students to any imaginable location across the known universe and transforming the delivery of knowledge and empowering students to engage in deep learning.” (NMC 2016)

What Tools could I use?

To create Augmented Reality content you could use tools such as Blippar.

Case Study / Good Practice

Case study 1:
Within the Marketing Programme, augmented reality has been incorporated into assessment to introduce students to a technology which is relevant to their future professional working practices. Students were tasked with designing a four-page leaflet on a given topic. A justification for the academic theories used was then embedded into the design by means of a video presentation from students. The video was accessible using augmented reality when scanning the leaflets with a mobile device and AR app.

Student work resulting from the assessment was displayed at the Derby Business School Employer Showcase and received positive feedback from attendees. The University’s own Marketing Department were also inspired to investigate the use of AR for university marketing materials. Positive feedback from students has led to the assessment being rerun in AY16/17 with further refinements to the process and technology.

Case Study 2:
In Sept 2016, around two-hundred new Psychology students took part in an augmented reality tour of the Kedleston Road campus. A series of relevant ‘stops’ were identified by second year students to form the tour and a ‘trigger’ image placed at each. Students then created a short video message for participants to find at each stop, along with a unique ‘Token’ – a psychology related term which students must collect from each stop to prove they have completed the tour. Working in groups, students completed the tour using their own mobile devices, and the group with the fastest time were rewarded with a Psychology@Derby hooded sweatshirt.

The inspiration for the tour was to create a stimulating induction to the campus, and enhance the experience for new students. The use of the augmented reality tour created an exercise in which students could interact, collaborate and get to know their new colleagues, whilst independently discovering the university campus.

To find out more

Contact the Technology Enhanced Learning team to find out more.


Horizon report > 2016 higher education edition (2016). New Media Consortium. Available at: (Accessed: 29 May 2016).