New Learning Times

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by Ching-Fu Lan

November 26, 2013

Article Body

ARIS (Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling) is an open-source platform that enables users to create location-based mobile games and interactive stories. With mobile devices, GPS technology, or QR codes, ARIS players can navigate in augmented reality worlds where virtual characters and objects are linked to physical places and facilitate gaming and learning activities. Its game editor allows educators to create interactive learning activities on various topics and is useful for students to learn basic game design concepts such as goals, rules, and challenges.


In each ARIS game, quests are presented along with objects, characters and interactive scripts on a zoomable map. These location-based tasks make ARIS games adventurous and engaging. Multimedia resources such as videos, audio clips, pictures and web links integrated in each game provide rich narratives for gaming activities. A web-based game editor lets educators and gamers design games or interactive stories without writing code. For players who are not near the location of an ARIS game, the fly option allows them to enjoy all interactive experiences on the virtual map.


While no coding experience is required to create an ARIS game, educators may need to invest a significant amount of time to become familiar with the ARIS authoring tool. The authoring tool, as the ARIS website warns, is still under construction and users can expect to find shaky UI, limited functionality and broken parts.

Our Takeaway:

New technologies have provided innovative approaches for people to interact with information. Augmented reality games provide a unique way for learners to explore information by adding a geographical dimension to the meaning making process while encouraging students to see themselves as problem solvers and knowledge builders (Squire, 2010). As mobile technologies and platforms make these experiences more accessible, educators might take advantage of them to lead learners to explore the new learning landscape of augmented reality.

The Bottom Line:

ARIS creates augmented realities that can facilitate rich and interactive learning experiences.

Image: Logo via ARIS