Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Published version

Cowling, M. & Birt, J. (2015). Teaching complex theoretical multi-step problems in ICT networking through 3D printing and augmented reality. Paper presented at the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning and Tertiary Education conference (ascilite 2015): Globally connected, digitally enabled (pp. 414-418). 29 November - 2 December, 2015. Perth, Australia.

Access the conference

Copyright © 2015 The Authors

2015 HERDC submission

Distribution License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


This paper presents a pilot study rationale and research methodology using a mixed media visualisation (3D printing and Augmented Reality simulation) learning intervention to help students in an ICT degree represent theoretical complex multi-step problems without a corresponding real world physical analog model. This is important because these concepts are difficult to visualise without a corresponding mental model. The proposed intervention uses an augmented reality application programmed with free commercially available tools, tested through an action research methodology, to evaluate the effectiveness of the mixed media visualisation techniques to teach ICT students networking. Specifically, 3D models of network equipment will be placed in a field and then the augmented reality app can be used to observe packet traversal and routing between the different devices as data travels from the source to the destination. Outcomes are expected to be an overall improvement in final skill level for all students.



This document has been peer reviewed.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.