Augmented reality (AR) as a tool for blended learning in Junior High School

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Junior High School (JHS) student are required to write BECE yearly to transition into Senior High or vocational school. The failure rate of these students has been increasing since 2009 [3]. The educational minister reduced the number of subjects from 11 to 9, added BECE re-sit exams and yet the failure rate keeps rising [5]. According to Ghana´s educational minister, it has been observed that little to no visualization of class content has made learning impractical for these students [4]. Also the theory style of preparing these students for BECE seem to make learning, understanding, and visualization difficult. This paper aims to provide a solution by introducing Augmented Reality (AR) as a tool to be used in a Blended Learning classroom atmosphere at Junior High School (JHS) level. The Augmented Reality (AR) as a tool is developed using a marker-based AR platform which is preferred to location based AR in this research. Marker-based AR apps scan a marker which may be QR code or a virtual image on a phone screen [25]. Location-based AR apps use GPS to locate places nearby and use that data to satisfy users need [25]. Sherimon et al. describe Blended Learning as a combination of face-to-face or traditional learning with e-learning tools [39]. In terms of Blended Learning, using Junior High School (JHS) in Accra-Ghana as a case study, chosen models are: Inside-Out and Supplementary. Inside-Out Blended Learning Model involves student's lessons starting with a traditional classroom teaching style and ending up with learning outside the classroom [52]. Meanwhile Supplementary Blended Learning Model is where students are given a choice between face-to-face learning for every aspect of a course(s) and an e-learning platform for every aspect of a course(s) [52]. The Augmented Reality (AR) tool developed in this paper is called JunAR. From images to animations and sounds, JunAR visually explain a topic in Social Studies to students. Students´ understanding and visualization are enhanced in JunAR. iii
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Computer Science, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, May 2020
Junior High School, augmented reality (AR), blended learning, Ghana