Teaching Complex Theoretical Multi-Step Problems in ICT Networking through 3D Printing and Augmented Reality


  • Michael Cowling
  • James Birt




mixed media visualization, networking, augmented reality, 3D printing, ICT


This paper presents a pilot study rationale and research methodology using a mixed media visualisation (3D printing and Augmented Reality simulation) learning intervention to help students in an ICT degree represent theoretical complex multi-step problems without a corresponding real world physical analog model. This is important because these concepts are difficult to visualise without a corresponding mental model. The proposed intervention uses an augmented reality application programmed with free commercially available tools, tested through an action research methodology, to evaluate the effectiveness of the mixed media visualisation techniques to teach ICT students networking. Specifically, 3D models of network equipment will be placed in a field and then the augmented reality app can be used to observe packet traversal and routing between the different devices as data travels from the source to the destination. Outcomes are expected to be an overall improvement in final skill level for all students.