XR maths – designing a collaborative extended realities lab for teaching mathematics

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Serious games, games-based learning, and simulation-based learning have been used to teach Mathematics at various educational levels. In this paper we shall present a design process and the first steps towards an extended realities (XR) collaborative lab for teaching of mathematics at HE level, which is currently under implementation.

Designing for XR applications is a complex task that requires knowledge from multiple disciplines in terms of interaction design, user experience, programming, and content creation. This complexity increases when the XR application is for educational purposes. XR education applications require additional competencies for defining learning objectives, designing activities that ensure that the objectives are achieved, and know-how regarding the integration of the application in the curriculum, whilst, at the same time, overcoming external barriers such as student access to technology and institutional support.

The design process proposed in this paper aims to give guidance to designers of XR applications that are integrated in an education context. The design process is then applied in the design of XR Maths, a XR mathematics collaborative lab which aims to help students understand and familiarise themselves with mathematical concepts and improve the learning experience offering an additional teaching tool to lecturers. The purpose is to complement, and not replace, frontal teaching of Mathematics in different disciplines across different programs, supporting lecturers rather than being their substitute.

To gather students’ views and initial requirements regarding the use of XR for teaching mathematics, a survey and follow-up interviews were conducted between July and September 2020. The sample targeted were first year students enrolled in six different programmes at the University of the West of Scotland that involved mathematics modules. Lecturers in mathematics were also consulted to understand how the subject is taught to students from various programmes.

In this paper, we propose a process for designing XR application for education and initial findings regarding the user and functional requirements for the XR Maths lab as well as the limitations and barriers that need to be overcome for the success of such platform are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Subtitle of host publicationA Virtual Conference hosted by The University of Brighton, UK, 23-24 September 2021
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 May 2021
Event15th European Conference on Games Based Learning - University of Brighton (Online), Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sept 202124 Sept 2021


Conference15th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Abbreviated titleECGBL 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • extended realities
  • design process
  • mathematics


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