MCI - The Entrepreneurial University (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 5923-5929
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.1337
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Augmented Reality (AR), i.e., the concept of augmenting real world settings through virtual objects, has seen increasing uptake throughout the last decade. Whether one wants to virtually examine the human body layer by layer, or listen to century-old paintings talk, modern AR devices make it happen (e.g., Microsoft Hololens, Magic Leap 1 , Epson Moverio, Vuzix Blade AR, etc.). Consequently, it is little wonder the education sector sees great potential in AR to also support future learning contexts. Here it is particularly the ongoing advancements of smartphones (and respective software development kits such as Apple’s RealityKit 2 or Google’s ARCore), and their increasing popularity among young people, which helps foster the technology and ameliorate its affordability as well as suitability for the classroom. Yet, how and to what extent AR may shape learning experiences and eventually impact on learning performance still requires additional investigations and analyses.

The research reported in this paper, aims to add to this discussion by outlining our results from an experimental study in a high school context. In particular, we investigated a potential connection between the use of an AR app (smartphone based) as a leaning aid and a change in students’ intrinsic motivation to learn. Additionally we measured learning success.

We used the Areeka AR app as a study platform complementing the more traditional paper-based teaching materials. In the given case, AR was used to help students learn about the solar system, moon phases as well as lunar and solar eclipses. The study was embedded into a high school physics course and conducted during two consecutive class hours. It was approved by both the local education authorities as well as the school’s ethics committee. Participation by students was entirely voluntary, and sans compensation.

A total of n=104 high school students from six different classes took part in the study. Half of them (i.e., three classes) used the Areeka AR app the other half used traditional teaching material (i.e., a textbook) to learn. The students from the Areeka classes were shown how to download and install the app on their smartphone. In addition, they received a booklet providing some written instructions on how to use the app. After this, students were given 30 minutes to learn about the solar system, using the app as well as their traditional textbooks. The students from the other classes were only using their textbooks. The class teacher as well as one researcher were available at all times so as to help with potential technical difficulties.

To evaluate intrinsic motivation we used the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory questionnaire. Learning success was measured via pre-study (2 weeks prior the experiment), interim-study (during the experiment) and after-study (2 weeks after the experiment) tests. Results show, that those students who used AR for studying exhibited a 19% higher intrinsic motivation than those who only used the traditional learning method. In addition, learning success was higher with the AR classes, i.e. 19% for the interim-study test and 18% for the after-study.

The data does not point to any significant difference between female and male students, neither regarding intrinsic motivation nor regarding learning success. Yet, we found a significant correlation between intrinsic motivation and learning success.
Augmented Reality, High School Teaching, Intrinsic Motivation, Learning Performance.