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Back to the future

The State of Baden-Württemberg sponsors a new 400,000-Euro digital teaching project

Success in the Teaching4Future competition: The Institute of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Freiburg, in cooperation with Professor Christoph Müller, Faculty of Digital Media at Furtwangen University, will receive funding of 400,000 Euros for a new project. The aim of the teaching project "MARBLE - Mixed and Augmented Reality in Blended Learning Environments" is to develop and test three-dimensional imaging methods in archaeology teaching in higher education over the next three years.

The IAW developed the project in close cooperation with the departments for e-learning and university didactics as well as with external cooperation partners from the Faculty of Digital Media at Furtwangen University. Using MARBLE, it will be possible for students of archaeology to “walk” virtually over ancient mosaics using augmented reality glasses and, in small teams, to examine their images and inscriptions. They will also be able to “walk” around sculptures and architecture in the classroom and to virtually visit places such as caves and catacombs that are not accessible due to the need for conservation. The students are not isolated in the virtual spaces, but can interact with each other in a mixed-reality scenario. MARBLE uses the concept of blended learning: Along with on-campus classes in this mixed-reality environment, students will get the chance to explore the artefacts more closely in online study using digital teaching materials.

“The aim of MARBLE is to see three-dimensional imaging methods not only as a technical task, but first and foremost as a didactic and curricular research and development challenge, and to develop and evaluate it accordingly,” adds the project manager, Assistant Professor Fabian Stroth of Byzantine Archaeology at IAW.

The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg (MWK) is funding five projects for application-oriented research into virtual and augmented reality learning and teaching concepts with funds from the digital@bw digitisation strategy. A total of around 1.8 million euros is available.