Skip to main content

Mobile learning in the field of Architecture and Building Construction. A case study analysis

Mobile learning en el ámbito de la arquitectura y la edificación. Análisis de casos de estudio


This educational research focuses on the use of mobile learning (m-learning) in the field of Architecture and Building Construction. It was conducted at various levels of university teaching (bachelor’s and master’s degree courses) to assess the integration of augmented reality (AR) technology on mobile devices. Several cases employing different strategies were studied. These strategies ranged from using Quick Response (QR) codes or specific markers to download multimedia content created by the students, to 3D georeferencing models that allowed information to be visualised, adjusted and assessed on site. Specific practical exercises were therefore designed for different topics, where the two most common forms of registering were tested (optical image recognition and GPS positioning). Light integration at the scene was also addressed. Owing to the high cost and limited availability of these devices, experimental groups made up of small numbers of students were formed so that devices could be shared if necessary. Improvement in academic performance and system usability were assessed in each specific case using standardised questionnaires, and the results were compared to those obtained for the control group students. The results show that these devices have become an effective, efficient and satisfactory tool for the use of hand-held AR technology.


En esta investigación educativa nos hemos centrado en el uso del aprendizaje móvil (ML) en el campo de la arquitectura y la construcción. Se llevó a cabo en distintos niveles de la enseñanza universitaria de grado y de máster, a fin de evaluar la integración de la tecnología de la Realidad Aumentada (RA) en dispositivos móviles. Se han realizado varios estudios de caso, en los que se han abordado diferentes estrategias, que van desde el uso de los códigos QR (quick reference) o marcadores específicos para descargar contenidos multimedia generados por los estudiantes tales como los modelos 3D georeferenciados para ser ajustados y evaluados en el lugar. Por lo tanto, se diseñaron prácticas específicas en el marco de diferentes temas, donde los dos tipos más comunes de registro han sido probados (reconocimiento óptico de imagen y posicionamiento GPS). También se ha abordado la integración de la luz en la escena. Debido al alto costo y a la disponibilidad limitada de estos dispositivos, hemos creado grupos experimentales con pocos alumnos que comparten, si es necesario, los terminales. La mejora del rendimiento académico y la manejabilidad de los sistemas han sido evaluadas en cada caso específico utilizando cuestionarios estandarizados, en comparación con el grupo de estudiantes de control. Los resultados muestran que estos dispositivos se han convertido en una herramienta eficaz, eficiente y satisfactoria para el uso de esta tecnología móvil, la RA en su versión (hand-held) manejable a mano.


  • Álvarez, G. (2012). New Technologies in the University Context: The Use of Blogs for Developing Students’ Reading and Writing Skills. RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, 9(2), 3–17 185–199. doi:10.7238/rusc.v9i2.1160

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Álvarez, G., & Bassa, L. (2013). ICTs and collaborative learning: a case study of a class blog for improving the writing skills of pre-university students. RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, 10(2), 5–19 254–268. doi:10.7238/rusc.v10i2.1740

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Allen, M., Regenbrecht, H., & Abbott, M. (2011). Smart-phone augmented reality for public participation in urban planning. Proceedings of the 23rd Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference on — OzCHI’1, 11–20. doi:10.1145/2071536.2071538

  • Argüelles, M. J., Blanco, M., & Castán, J. M. (2013). Dimensions of Perceived Service Quality in Higher Education Virtual Learning Environments. RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, 10(1) 89–106 268–285. doi:10.7238/rusc.v10i1.1411

    Google Scholar 

  • Benbelkacem, S., Zenati-Henda, N., Belhocine, M., & Malek, S. (2009). Augmented Reality System for E-maintenance Application. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1107, 185–189. doi:10.1063/1.3106470

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fonseca, D., Martí, N., Navarro, I., Redondo, E., & Sanchez, A. (2012). Uso de la realidad aumentada como plataforma educativa en la visualización arquitectónica [Using augmented reality and education platform in architectural visualization: Evaluation of usability and student’s level of satisfaction]. XIV Simposio Internacional de Informática Educativa. Andorra la Vella, Andorra: La Salle Open University, Eds. 1–6. Retrieved from

    Google Scholar 

  • Fonseca, D., Martí, N., Redondo, E., Navarro, I., & Sánchez, A. (2013). Relationship between student profile, tool use, participation, and academic performance with the use of Augmented Reality technology for visualized architecture models. Computers in Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.03.006

  • Gosset, W. S. (1908). The Probable error of a mean. Biometrika, 6(1), 1–25. doi:10.1093/biomet/6.1.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guttentag, A. (2010). Virtual reality: Applications and implications for tourism. Tourism Management, 31(5), 637–651. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2009.07.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haydar, M., Maidi, M., Rouseel, D., Mallem, M., Drap, P., Bale, K., & Chapman, P. (2008). Virtual Exploration of Underwater Archaeological Sites: Visualization and Interaction in Mixed Reality Environments. In K. R.-E. M. Ashley, S. Hermon & A. Proenca (Eds.). Proceedings of VAST: International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Intelligent Cultural Heritage, 141–148. doi:10.2312/VAST/VAST08/141-148

  • Hincapie, M., Caponio, A., Rios, H., & González, E. (2011). An introduction to Augmented Reality with applications in aeronautical maintenance. 2011 13th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks, 1–4. doi:10.1109/ICTON.2011.5970856

  • Honken, R., Jazz, K., Boudreau, Z., & Yearous, J. (2012). Building a sustainable mobile device strategy to meet the needs of various stakeholder groups. Proceedings of the ACM SIGUCCS’ 12, 41. doi: 10.1145/2382456.2382466

    Google Scholar 

  • Hsu, C. (2011). The Feasibility of Augmented Reality on Virtual Tourism Website. 2011 Fourth International Conference on Ubi-Media Computing, 253–256. doi:10.1109/U-MEDIA.2011.66

  • Kaufmann, H., Schmalstieg, D., & Wagner, M. (2000). Construct3D: A Virtual Reality Application for Mathematics and Geometry Education. Education and Information Technologies, 5(4), 263–276. doi:10.1023/A:1012049406877

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kondo, T. (2006). Augmented Learning Environment using Mixed Reality Technology. In T. Reeves & S. Yamashita (Eds.). Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2006 (pp. 83–87). Japan: AACE.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kristoffersen, S., & Ljungberg, F. (1999). Mobile informatics. ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 31(1), 29–34. Retrieved from

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lehner, F., & Nosekabel, H. (2002). The role of mobile devices in E with a wireless E-Learning environment. In Wireless and Mobile. Retrieved from

  • Martín Gutiérrez, J. (2010). Estudio y evaluación de contenidos didácticos en el desarrollo de las habilidades espaciales en el ámbito de la ingeniería [Study and assessment of didactic content in the development of spatial abilities in the field of engineering] (Doctoral thesis). Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Martin, S., Díaz, G., Sancristobal, E., Gil, R., Castro, M., & Peire, J. (2011). New technology trends in education: Seven years of forecasts and convergence. Computers & Education, 57(3), 1893–1906. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.04.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oksman, V., Siltanen, S., & Ainasoja, M. (2012). User participation in co-creative services: Developing Virtual and Augmented Reality Tools for Do-it-Yourself Home Design. Proceedings of the 16th International Academic MindTrek Conference on — MindTrek’ 12, 229–230. doi:10.1145/2393132.2393181

  • Paiva, P. V. F., Machado, L. S., & Oliveira, J. C. de (2012). A Peer-to-Peer Multicast Architecture for Supporting Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) in Medicine. 2012 14th Symposium on Virtual and Augmented Reality, 165–173. doi:10.1109/SVR.2012.7.

  • Peters, W. S., & Butler, J. Q. (1970). The construction of regional economic indicators by principal components. The Annals of Regional Science, 4(1), 1–14. doi:10.1007/BF01287726

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peula, J., Zumaquero, M., Urdiales. C., Barbancho, A., & Sandoval, F. (2007). Realidad aumentada aplicada a herramientas didácticas musicales. Grupo ISIS.

  • Prahalad, C. & Hamel, G. (1990). The core competence of the corporation. Harvard Business Review, 68(3), 9–91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Redondo, E., Sánchez, A., Fonseca, D., & Peredo, A. (2103). Architectural Geo-E-Learning Geolocated Teaching in Urban Environments with Mobile Devices: A Case Study and Work in Progress (in press). In R. Shumaker (Ed.), VAMR/HCII 2013, Proceedings, Part II, LNCS 8022, (pp. 188–197). doi:10.1007/978-3-642-39420-1

  • Redondo Domínguez, E., Sánchez Riera, A., & Fonseca Escudero, D. (2012). Developing an augmented reality application in the framework of architecture degree. Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Workshop on User experience in e-learning and augmented technologies in education — UXeLATE’12, 37–42. doi:10.1145/2390895.2390905

  • Sánchez Riera, A., Redondo, E., & Fonseca, D. (2012). Developing an augmented reality application in the framework of architecture degree. Proceedings of the 2012 ACM workshop on User experience in e-learning and augmented technologies in education — UXeLATE’12, 37. doi:10.1145/2390895.2390905

  • Sánchez, A., Redondo, E., Fonseca, D., & Navarro, I. (2013). Construction processes using mobile augmented reality. A study case in Building Engineering degree. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 206, 1053–1062. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-36981-0_100

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schall, G., Mendez, E., Kruijff, E., Veas, E., Junghanns, S., Reitinger, B., & Schmalstieg, D. (2008). Handheld Augmented Reality for underground infrastructure visualization. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 13(4), 281–291. doi:10.1007/s00779-008-0204-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shin, D. H., & Dunston, P. S. (2008). Identification of application areas for Augmented Reality in industrial construction based on technology suitability. Automation in Construction, 17(7), 882–894. doi:10.1016/j.autcon.2008.02.012

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tillon, A. B., Marchal, I., & Houlier, P. (2011). Mobile augmented reality in the museum: Can a lacelike technology take you closer to works of art? 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality — Arts, Media, and Humanities, 41–47. doi:10.1109/ISMAR-AMH.2011.6093655

  • Tonn, C., Petzold, F., Olivier B., Grundhofer, A., & Donath, D. (2008). Spatial Augmented Reality for Architecture — Designing and planning with and within existing buildings. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 6(1), 41–58. doi:10.1260/147807708784640126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, X. (2008). Implementation and Experimentation of a Mixed Reality Collaborative Design Space. In W. Shen, J. Yong, Y. Yang, J. Barthes, & J. Luo (Eds.). Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Vol. 5236 (pp. 111–122). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ernest Redondo Domínguez.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Redondo Domínguez, E., Fonseca Escudero, D., Sánchez Riera, A. et al. Mobile learning in the field of Architecture and Building Construction. A case study analysis. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 11, 152–174 (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Palabras clave