Teaching Fundamental Navigation Concepts using an Augmented Landscape

Mr Lucas Bester1, Mr Brendon Munge2

1La Trobe University, University of the Sunshine Coast

This interactive session provides participants with a hands-on opportunity to gain an insight into the approaches of teaching and learning landscape-based navigation utilising an Augmented Interactive Mapping Sandbox (AIMS).

In 2016 we received a Digital Learning grant to build two AIM Sandboxes for use in the Outdoor & Environmental Education degrees at La Trobe University. The AIM Sandboxes were specifically built to assist teaching and learning the concepts and practice of landscape navigation.

One of the more difficult cognitive tasks with learning navigation is to interpret two-dimensional representations of topographical relief and transfer this understanding to real-world landscapes and vice-versa. This technology allows an immensely rich representation of concepts that enhance and contribute to student expertise and capacity. Students show a greater understanding of key concepts as well as considerable cognitive gain, which also contributes to enhanced student learning and work-ready graduate outcomes.

Participants will have the opportunity to trial the AIM Sandboxes and gauge their own understanding of how the instantaneous representation of contour features in a three-dimensional landscape may assist their own work enabling students to understand landform features and the critical principles of navigation – and as an aside it is a lot of fun to play in the sandbox!


Lucas Bester is a Lecturer in Outdoor and Environmental Education at La Trobe University, Australia. His teaching and research focus on ways that shape sustainable and ecological forms of education, with particular reference to place, time and relational pedagogies.

Brendon Munge is an Associate Lecturer in Outdoor and Environmental Studies in the School of Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. His teaching focuses on providing the foundational practical and theoretical experiences for new outdoor educators as they prepare to work in the profession. He is a current PhD candidate with a focus on fieldwork in higher education.

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