Augmented reality (AR) technology emphasizes superimposing virtual information over the real environment to create a new context of learning. Studies and research about the impact of using augmented reality (AR) continue to grow in number in the educational sector. By including a total of 134 (quasi-)experiment studies from 2012 to 2021, Chang and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the impact of AR on three levels of learning outcomes:
- Response outcome: learners’ self-reported attitude to the AR learning environment, e.g., satisfaction, motivation, or perception of usefulness
- Knowledge and skill outcome: involves assessment tools to measure learners’ understanding and skills, e.g., literacy, numeracy, or reasoning.
- Performance outcome: how learners apply and transfer what they learned to the authentic situation, e.g., conduct scientific enquiry or operate a simulated medical survey.
Results of the meta-analysis included:
- Comparing AR with non-AR, positive impacts of AR instruction were found on response outcome (g=+0.49), knowledge and skill (g = +0.65), and performance (g = +0.74).
- Comparing refined AR with other AR instruction, refined AR (e.g., including more support, or games with AR) showed better outcomes: response (g=+0.25), knowledge and skill (g = +0.56).
Moreover, meta-regression was employed to discern factors that relate to the variation in the effects of AR.
- In terms of response outcome about using AR, results indicated that treatment duration and subject area are significant factors related to the effect sizes. The longer the duration, the larger the effect sizes. The most positive effects in relation to subject area were in language learning, while other subject areas showed no significant differences (social studies, science, technology, and math).
- With respect to knowledge and skill, treatment duration and education level (e.g. primary, secondary, postsecondary school education) had no impact on effect size. However, AR design affordance without 3-D visualization achieved better results than those which incorporated 3-D visualization.
As treatment duration was a significant factor, it may be interesting for further studies to increase the treatment duration. Although in theory AR incorporating 3-D visualization could improve student learning, given the negative effect of 3-D visualization in knowledge and skill outcomes, the authors suggested that in practice, it needs more careful and tailored 3-D visualization design.
Source (Open Access): Chang, H.-Y., Binali, T., Liang, J.-C., Chiou, G.-L., Cheng, K.-H., Lee, S. W.-Y., & Tsai, C.-C. (2022). Ten years of augmented reality in education: A meta-analysis of (quasi-) experimental studies to investigate the impact. Computers & Education, 191, 104641. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2022.104641