Beyond the channel: A literature review on ambient displays for learning

Dirk Börner, Marco Kalz, Marcus Specht

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    The review analyses work in the research field of ambient display with a focus on the use of such displays for situational awareness, feedback and learning. The purpose of the review is to assess the state-of-the-art of the use of ambient displays with an explicit or implicit learning purpose and the possible classification of respective prototypes on the basis of a presented framework. This framework is comprised of theories around the educational concepts of situational awareness and feedback as well as design dimensions of ambient displays. The review sheds light on results of recent empirical studies within this field as well as developed prototypes with a focus on their design and instructional capabilities when providing feedback. The results expose that the explicit use of ambient displays for learning is not a prominent research topic, although implicitly ambient displays are already used to support learning activities fostering situational awareness by exploiting feedback. Overall ambient displays represent a technological concept with great potential for learning and the review facilitates a proper foundation and research questions for further research in this direction – towards ambient learning displays.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)426-435
    Number of pages10
    JournalComputers and Education
    Issue number1
    Early online date3 Jul 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • Ambient displays
    • Literature review
    • Empirical research
    • Ubiquitous learning support
    • Situational awareness
    • Feedback


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