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INESC TEC researcher wins contest with «augmented book» project

It won’t be a traditional book, but it won’t be an e-book either. It will support a learning model with innovative characteristics. This is the idea behind the “Augmented Book for the Creative Introduction to Programming”, a project by António Coelho, from INESC TEC’s Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG), one of the winners of the competition for “Pedagogical Innovation Projects”, part of the “Promoting Pedagogical Excellence” programme by the University of Porto.

07th February 2020

It won’t be a traditional book, but it won’t be an e-book either. It will support a learning model with innovative characteristics. This is the idea behind the “Augmented Book for the Creative Introduction to Programming”, a project by António Coelho, from INESC TEC’s Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG), one of the winners of the competition for “Pedagogical Innovation Projects”, part of the “Promoting Pedagogical Excellence” programme by the University of Porto.

The book is made of paper, thus acting as tangible medium containing the fundamental texts for learning, but it is accompanied by an application that enables the transition from paper to digital support, through fiducial marks. In this sense, it provides access to videos, challenges, digital games and gamification, which make learning more motivating, effective and pervasive (enabling micro-learning “anytime and anywhere”). The application will also enable the development of programming challenges on personal computers – directly, intuitively and straight from the book. This design will support the collaborative involvement of the class.

The innovation, whose utility has now been acknowledged by UPorto, comes to merge two different supports that continue to coexist as pedagogical tools. As researcher António Coelho explains, the paper book has been the most relevant technological medium used to support learning for several centuries. With the advent of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), the transition from books to a fully digital support (e-book) has been widely stimulated, though the potential of multimedia, hypermedia and digital games. Despite the fact that interactivity provides greater efficiency in learning, one can still attest that the paper format remains the preferable resource for many the students, due to its tangibility.

The “Augmented Book” project focuses on the development of a hybrid approach that provides pedagogical support for programming learning among Digital Media students, who tend to be more creative. For this purpose, the researcher will have access to 1000€, granted to each winner of UPORTO’s “Pedagogical Innovation Projects” annual competition. This programme aims to promote the improvement of the educational models applied in the courses/curricular units, by funding the acquisition of equipment, licenses or software, furniture, external services and other actions that contribute to the innovation of the pedagogical framework.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with UP-FEUP.