Why AR Could Be Your Next E-learning Solution

Do you work at a company that handles complex information, or deals with specific and difficult to understand subject matter? Most industries have intricacies that can be extremely hard to convey, and in many cases, finding the correct way is still elusive. Augmented reality could be the solution.

Unlike virtual reality, where the user is completely immersed in a virtual world, augmented reality (AR) is layering digital models and spaces into the real world environment. While this might sound advanced, let’s look at how we used AR to teach students about butchery through our AR butchery app.

What was being taught?

Having previously collaborated with Vancouver Community College on their culinary arts course to make VR cooking training, they approached us with the idea for an AR butchery app to help students understand the dividing lines, secondaries, cooking method and bone structure of a side of beef.

As with many industries, culinary arts and specifically butchery is complex. Students are required to learn the specific places to cut a side of beef for commercial use in Canada, the bone structure, the secondary cuts that come from each primary, the cooking method of these secondary cuts and identifying if they are bone-in or boneless.

Given the practical nature of butchery, using only traditional teaching methods such as lectures and textbooks can be hard for students to visualise and retain the information. And due to the nature of dividing an entire side of beef, demonstrations of the entire process are limited.

The home screen of our AR Butchery app that shows a side of beef with the dividing lines for the primary cuts visible on the side of beef. Below the side of beef there are 3 buttons to take the user to the 3 different parts of the app.

So why was learning butchery so suited to AR?

Subject matter – learning by doing

As we mentioned earlier, the complex nature of the subject makes it both hard to teach and for students to retain. However this is also why it’s perfectly suited for AR.

While the topic of butchery would be extremely intense in virtual reality, especially for students new to the subject, AR bridges this gap by being far more interactive than a textbook or lecture, while also not being too overwhelming or isolating as many find VR to be.

In the AR app the user goes through the dividing lines for the primary cuts in a way they wouldn’t be able to practise through textbook learning. The interaction with the realistic models surpasses what would be possible through a website, and most other e-learning or traditional formats wouldn’t have the same ability to explore the cuts and the models as closely as what the app was able to replicate.

This interactivity is key to the education within the app, as time and time again, interaction has been proven to be the source of high retention rates in e-learning. The app not only champions this interactivity, it applies it to the lesson being taught – the dividing lines for the primary cuts, their secondary cuts and the bone structure.

Testing the user

The versatility of AR also meant it was easy to include a quiz for the users to be able to test their knowledge of what they’d learnt. Including a quiz means that the students could use the app to revise, then test themselves on what they’d learnt to identify areas that need more attention.

Having a quiz such as this one is something that we have incorporated in to many of our e-learning projects as it is consistently a great way to enhance interactivity, as well as helping users monitor their progress. If you’re looking for an e-learning solution that maximises retention and engagement, AR or otherwise, get in touch so we can create something perfect for you.


One of the key aspects of AR that sets it apart from VR is its accessibility. Unlike VR, there is no need for a headset or any specialised devices. AR can be made in to an app and installed on any device with a camera such as phones or tablets, its even possible to have AR launch from a web browser.

For the AR butchery app, this was one of the key reasons AR worked so well. The goal for the app was to be a resource alongside the lecturers and practical work, something the students could use to revise whenever needed, or use in lectures to support teaching. Therefore the students had to have easy access to the app, through either their own devices, or for it to be readily available on the college’s tablets.

The app being on tablets and phones also means that it can be explored collaboratively. Whether guided by staff at the college, or worked through in student groups, viewing the app together meant that the learning wouldn’t have to be done in isolation – a challenge that VR often presents

Screenshot form our AR Butchery app showing all of the secondary cuts that come from the Chuck above a scale from Moist to Dry to indicate their cooking method, with the Home button and back button on the top right of the screen

Is augmented reality of interest to you?

Got an idea for some e-learning but haven’t found the right format yet? Or work in an industry where practical knowledge and interaction are crucial to training?

We understand the potential of XR solutions for your business and can help you use this exciting tech in your industry. Get in touch today to start designing your own bespoke AR training solution.

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