This review paper presents a systematic literature review on the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in engineering education, and specifically in student’s spatial ability training, for the last decade. Researchers have explored the benefits of AR, and its application has been of increasing interest in all levels of education. Engineering students tend to have difficulties in acquiring visualization skills, and hence, AR is gaining momentum in enhancing students’ learning achievements. This paper aims to present valuable information to researchers, tutors and software developers of learning technology systems concerning the advantages and limitations of AR in spatial ability training, the incorporation of adaptivity and personalization in AR applications as well as the aspects of spatial ability having been evaluated using AR and the prevalent evaluation methods for AR applications. To this direction, a total of thirty-two (32) studies were reviewed, having been published since 2010. The findings reveal an increase in the number of studies during the last three years. One major conclusion is the improvement of learners’ spatial ability using AR in educational settings, and the noted challenge is the need for more learning content. One research gap that has been identified is the lack of personalization in the developed applications, offering space for future research. Concluding, this area is under-researched, and thus, there is scope for a lot of improvement.
Issues related to 3d turtle's navigation and geometrical figures' manipulation in the simulated 3d space of a newly developed computational environment, MaLT, are reported and discussed here. The joint use of meaningful formalism and the dynamic manipulation of graphically represented 3d figures seem to offer new resources and to pose new challenges as far as geometrical activities and construction of meanings are concerned, which are strongly related to the representational infrastructure of MaLT.
Abilities such as spatial orientation and spatial visualisation come into play and are interwoven with the software's functionalities and semantics. Although the body-syntonic metaphor remains critical while navigating the turtle in the 3d simulated space, it seems that it has to be co-ordinated with other - often conflicting one another - frames of reference. The strong link between spatial graphical and geometrical aspects, that was accentuated by the dragging functionalities of the software, helped students go beyond an immediate perceptual approach, relating geometrical figures with real 3d objects and the change of planes in 3d space with physical angle situations. In this framework the concept of angle as turn and measure with emphasis on directionality but also as a relationship between the planes defined by 2d figures has arisen as central.