Nigel Hudson: PropertyMon Go!: Gotta catch ’em all! (PH)

Our own Nigel Hudson is here to tell us about how he is using augmented reality and gamification to enhance the teaching of land law in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes – PropertyMon Go! This was shortlisted for the ALT Teaching Law with Technology prize.

Eek, he’s gone all Blue Peter on us and he’s going to get us to make something. Keeping us in suspense, he moves on to discuss Land Law, which he says is taught in a very boring and archaic manner. No kidding, Nigel, so why are you talking about it now. Oh, I see, you have a hitherto undeclared passion for a term of years absolute. I’m telling Helen.

Huh? What? Have I missed anything? Must have dozed off. Nigel is still telling us how many ways he has tried and failed to make land law interesting. He’s even threatened to make me a tenant of my current seat, which apparently means I have to sit here forever. I’ll stick with my current status of invitee, Nigel, if you don’t mind.

Ooh, now he’s got my attention. He’s referring to a walking tour form of lecture that he and I both enjoyed last year, in the company of a colleague from Architecture. Nigel has apparently combined this idea with Pokemon Go! Do you have to flick poke bricks at a range of gargoyles? Can you do battle in Pokemon Land Registries? Apparently not, though we can create our own artifacts using the Aurasma app. However, you can track down all sorts of architectural features of property, whether these be statues or drains, each of which is designed to illuminate an aspect of land law e.g. rights to light. As soon as the app hits a trigger, it launches a video which explains the aspect of land law that the students should consider.

However, Nigel has developed his app further, by gamifying it. He has incorporated digital badges – you get a gold badge if you can identify all the 18 targets using only the photographs. You get a week to try that, after which the app gives you a map to help you. If you can then find the targets, you get a silver badge. After another week, you get told the actual locations, so you can track down any you’re missing and get a bronze badge. Nigel has used an app called Credly so that students can store their badges, though he suggests Mozilla Backpack would be better, funds permitting, because those badges are transportable.

Finally, we get to our Blue Peter moment. Nigel talks delegates through the process of setting up their own app. We use our phones to go to the App store and download the Aurasma app. It’s free and available on ios and android.

Now, we open an account using an email address, user name and password. That takes us to the ‘Discover Auras’ screen. Here, there are links to 3 screens: Profile, Discover Auras, Create an Aura. We select the second of these.

At this point, we take a photo of an object in the room. This will be the ‘trigger’ for our Aura. We then choose an overlay from the app Library, though it is possible to create your own with the camera on your phone. The overlay can be either a photo or a video clip. The overlay will be the Augmented Reality element that will be displayed when the Aura is triggered. Nigel used video clips in his Auras, so that he could explain to students what aspect of land law the ‘trigger’ was illustrating. Once you’ve chosen your overlay, give it a name and then choose a Channel (a collection of your Auras) or create a new Channel and decided whether to make it public or private. You can showcase and share your Aura via email and social media.

Some Dos:
1 choose an object that is framed well
2 choose an object that is permanent and not moving (so don’t experiment on the dog)
3 make your overlay video short and punchy
4 choose a trigger location that is public or easily accessible

Some Don’ts:
1 choose a live object, especially if it moves
2 choose an object that is temporary
3 make your overlay long and boring (better not do Land Law then)
4 choose a trigger location that is private or dangerous

Nigel is getting ambitious now. He’s going to create an Aura for rent review clauses. Yes, he really did say that.

He’s also exploring the potential of interactive case studies, such as site inspects and crime scene investigations.

Yay, he’s given us the link to the PropertyMon Go website.

Update: here are Nigel’s slides – Hudson

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