Encouraging Children's Engagement with Proteomics in the Mixed-Reality Space: A Design-Based Research Project
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The use of mixed reality (XR) in education is still in a pioneering stage. Within informal educational contexts, literature is even more scarce. This design-based research explores the development and theoretical underpinning of an informal educational product which uses XR to support children’s engagement with proteomics. Here, interactivity through gamification was chosen as the approach to achieve this heightened engagement. Field research and questionnaires were used to inform an iterative design process using rapid prototyping. This design reached a pilot evaluation stage for testing with a sample of the target audience, but further evaluation is required to draw concrete conclusion. Existing literature suggests that using XR in the context of primary biology education can help inform concept-context models as well as the formulation of structural-functional relationships. This research project develops this idea through an iterative design model, aiming to document the process as a reference to other researchers developing educational tools with XR. The final iteration of this design research can also act as a starting point for other researchers with interest in continuing with the design towards a final product.