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A systematic review of Augmented Reality game-based applications in primary education

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Augmented Reality game-based learning (ARGBL) is quickly gaining momentum in the education sector worldwide as it has the potential to enable new forms of learning and transform the learning experience. However, it remains unclear how ARGBL applications can impact students' motivation and performance in primary education. This study addresses that topic by providing a systematic review, which analyses and critically appraises the current state of knowledge and practice in the use of ARGBL applications in primary education. In total, seventeen (17) studies that used either qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods to collect their data were analysed and were published between 2012 and 2017. The study results indicated that ARGBL applications are mainly used to document the design and development process, as well as to share preliminary findings and student feedback. Based on a comprehensive taxonomy of application areas for AR in primary education, ARGBL can potentially influence the students' attendance, knowledge transfer, skill acquisition, hands-on digital experience, and positive attitudes in laboratory experimental exercises for different courses. This review aims to offer new insights to researchers and provide educators with effective advice and suggestions on how to improve learning outcomes, as well as increase students' motivation and learning performance by incorporating this instructional model into their teaching.
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A systematic review of Augmented Reality game-based applications in primary education
1Panagiotis Fotaris, 2Nikolaos Pellas, 3Ioannis Kazanidis, 4Paul Smith
1,4 University of East London, School of Arts and Digital Industries, U.K.
2 University of the Aegean, Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, Greece
3 Information Technology Department of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology,
Greece
p.fotaris@uel.ac.uk
npellas@aegean.gr
kazanidis@teiemt.gr
p.t.smith@uel.ac.uk
Abstract
Augmented Reality game-based learning (ARGBL) is quickly gaining momentum in the education sector
worldwide as it has the potential to enable new forms of learning and transform the learning
experience. However, it remains unclear how ARGBL applications can impact students’ motivation and
performance in primary education. This study addresses that topic by providing a systematic review,
which analyses and critically appraises the current state of knowledge and practice in the use of ARGBL
applications in primary education. In total, seventeen (17) studies that used either qualitative,
quantitative, or mixed-methods to collect their data were analysed and were published between 2012
and 2017. The study results indicated that ARGBL applications are mainly used to document the design
and development process, as well as to share preliminary findings and student feedback. Based on a
comprehensive taxonomy of application areas for AR in primary education, ARGBL can potentially
influence the students’ attendance, knowledge transfer, skill acquisition, hands-on digital experience,
and positive attitudes in laboratory experimental exercises for different courses. This review aims to
offer new insights to researchers and provide educators with effective advice and suggestions on how
to improve learning outcomes, as well as increase students’ motivation and learning performance by
incorporating this instructional model into their teaching.
Keywords: Augmented Reality, Game-based learning, primary education, Mixed Reality, Mobile
learning
Introduction
Technology has greatly affected many educational domains. Specifically, in primary education students
who use modern technological tools (e.g., mobile devices or interactive environments) under the
guidance of an instructor, can learn more complicated ideas now compared to previous years.
Consequently, students aged between 6 and 13 are engaged more easily in problem-based and inquiry-
based learning situations. On such occasions, they are required to collect or analyse data, produce
models, and execute complex concepts to solve problems. Recent technological progress provides
means to facilitate this type of complex learning by mobile Augmented Reality (AR) learning
environments, which layer virtual information on the physical environment and require learners to
solve complex problems by combining collected evidence from the real world and virtual information
in real time (Chiang et al., 2014; Muñoz et al., 2017).
Although AR technologies have been around for several years, it is the recent proliferation of mobile
devices that has made affordable AR systems available to the general public (Wu et al., 2013). As a
result, AR is currently gaining significant momentum in education (Atwood-Blaine & Huffman, 2017),
with teachers hoping that the level of active engagement seen in mobile AR games such as the
overwhelmingly successful Pokémon GO can potentially translate to compelling educational media and
make learning more immersive. Azuma (1997) defines AR as a system or visualisation technique that
fulfils three main criteria: a combination of real and virtual worlds; real time interaction; and accurate
3D registration of virtual and real objects. It is commonly accepted as a real-time technology whereby
a physical environment has been augmented by adding/embedding virtual information in it (Enyedy et
al., 2012). This differs from the notion of a Virtual Environment where the user is completely immersed
inside a synthetic environment. In this sense, “AR supplements reality, rather than completely replacing
it” (Azuma, 1997), as it enriches the human senses with additional information beyond what is provided
by the natural environment. The user experience includes the provision of a large amount of
information and additional environmental stimuli, which gives users the perception of being inside a
visually-rich informative environment (Squire & Jan, 2007). Therefore, AR technology can provide a
more efficient understanding of abstract concepts, which can also lead to improved spatial and
cognitive abilities (Laine et al., 2016; Joo-Nagata et al., 2017).
AR applications are usually available through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and
employ built-in cameras, GPS sensors, and Internet access to embed real-world environments with
dynamic, context-aware, and interactive digital content (Chiang et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2014).
Consequently, the paradigm shifts away from the lecture-style of teaching that has been experienced
recently, combined with the maturity of AR technologies, have prompted educators to harness the
power of AR in educational environments to create practical and highly interactive visual forms of
learning (Hsiao et al., 2016; Huang et al., 2016; Furió et al., 2013). Some of the most popular fields of
primary education that use AR in teaching are Science (Atwood-Blaine & Huffman, 2017; Hung et al.,
2017; Hsiao et al., 2016; Furió et al., 2013), Ecology (Hwang et al., 2016; Kamarainer et al., 2013),
Natural Sciences (Chen et al., 2016; Chiang et al., 2014), Physics (Cai et al., 2016; Enyedy et al., 2012),
Astronomy (Zhang et al., 2014), Library instruction (Chen & Tsai, 2012), Geometry (Laine et al., 2016),
Storytelling (Yilmaz & Goktas, 2016), Social Sciences (Efstathiou et al., 2017; Joo-Nagata et al., 2017),
and Reading comprehension (Tobar-Muñoz et al., 2017). Additionally, recent studies have suggested
that content learnt through AR technologies can benefit long-term memory, problem-solving,
enthusiasm and student’s collaborative abilities (Tobar-Muñoz et al., 2017; Hung et al., 2017), as well
as increase academic performance (Wei et al., 2015; Zhang et al., 2014) and enhance learning
satisfaction (Hsiao et al., 2016; Huang et al., 2016).
Nevertheless, there is still a lack of literature review studies presenting and sufficiently analysing the
educational potential and affordances of AR technology in primary education. For example, a large body
of literature has reported factors such as uses, purposes, advantages, limitations, effectiveness, and
affordances of AR when they are applied in various learning domains. However, there is gap in the
literature with respect to systematic literature reviews looking at these factors of AR in primary
educational settings. Such potential should be studied as it can foster students’ performance and
positively affect learning achievements in different learning tasks. With that in mind, the present study
aims at investigating the purposes of use for game-based AR applications in primary education and
constructing a more pedagogical description, while using the concept of pedagogical and functional
perspectives, for the mapping of learning stages to types of learning environments, thus extending their
road map for further research.
This review study follows Wu et al.’s (2013) recommendations, since there are currently unexplored
dimensions focusing on issues regarding the design and implementation of instructional learning
methods via AR technologies. With many AR systems designed exclusively for teaching science and
mathematics, it is essential to understand how instructors have used AR for the development of
educational content using specific instructional methods and whether the latter assisted students in
gaining knowledge. Taking this into account, this systematic literature review aims to present the
current status of AR research in primary education and examine the potential of adopting this
technology. This review will focus on AR game-based instructional and learning approaches
(henceforth, ARGBL), the study environment and AR technologies used, the learning topics covered,
the research methods used, and finally the educational potential and benefits of these technologies.
Research questions
There is already a large volume of published studies that report advantages, limitations, and challenges
of AR in education. Since AR is an emerging technology, it is important to provide an overview of the
advances and real impact of its use in educational settings, as well as to describe how AR has been
used to develop student-centred learning scenarios. Within this context, the research questions
addressed by this study are:
(1) What are the potential benefits and limitations regarding the learning effectiveness of AR game-
based applications in primary education?
(2) What are the mainstream game-based instructional and learning approaches that students
participate in with the purpose of improving their learning outcomes?
(3) What AR-enabled devices have been used to enhance the game-based learning experience, and
where has this experience taken place?
Method
The guidelines proposed by Kitchenham (2007) were adapted for the purposes of this systematic review
using the following steps:
Step 1: Planning: (a) Selection of journals, (b) Definition of inclusion and exclusion criteria for studies,
(c) Definition categories for the analysis.
Step 2: Conducting the review: (a) Study selection, (b) Data extraction (Content analysis methods were
applied), (c) Data synthesis, (d) Data coding.
Step 3: Reporting the review: Analysis of the results and the discussion of findings, trends and
conclusions regarding the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
(PRISMA) statement recommendation (Moher et al., 2009).
Step 1(a): Selection of journals
The aim of this initial step was to choose the most relevant journals for the systematic review in a
consistent way. To keep the process methodologically strong and scientifically consistent, a specific
method has been defined for the journal selection. The Google Scholar h5-index for the category
“Educational technology” was used as a starting point, since this category is more precise than the
“Education and educational research” category from the Journal Citation Report Social Science Citation
Index (JCR SSCI). In the latter, most of the journals relating to educational technology are indexed
together with journals about educational research in general. For the purpose of this study, 10 journals
from the “Educational Technology” category chosen from the Google Scholar h5-index were named “GS
list.” To initially validate our “GS list,” an iterative double check process was performed using the JCR
SSCI tool to consider the impact factor of each journal and its “relatedness” to others. This feature of
most related journals is defined in the JCR by considering the citation relationship of the journals and
is based on the number of citations from one journal to the other and the total number of articles.
According to the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports (20122017) all journals that accepted
these reviewed articles have impact factors from 0.532 to 2.676. This indicates that AR technology is a
relatively new field for researchers and educators who want to utilise it as a modern approach to
implementing practical hands-on experiments in various subjects across primary education. Several AR
technologies and research methods (case or empirical studies) are provided in this review.
For quality purposes, preference was given to the selection of reviewed papers which used qualitative
and/or quantitative analysis of results, as these are considered the most accurate forms of
experimental research to prove or disprove a hypothesis through statistical analysis. For an experiment
to be classified as a valid experimental design, the following criteria must be fulfilled (Russell & Gregory,
2003): (a) The research question should be clearly defined and adequately substantiated; (b) The
method of sampling should be appropriate for the research questions and instructional design
methods; (c) The data must be analysed appropriately; (d) The analytical description of findings should
be provided either with qualitative or quantitative data; (e) The meaning or relevance of the study
should have some practical implications for knowledge acquisition.
Table 1. Number of studies analysed in this review published in international journals
Table 1 above presents 10 journals associated with the JCR-SSCI list that are among the journals
selected for this review. It must be pointed out that this method allowed the identification of the most
important journals in educational technology for this study by following a double-checking process of
considering both impact factor and “relatedness” in the JCR-SSCI and JCR-SCI (Journal Citation Report
- Science Citation Index). In total 17 studies were analysed from the 10 selected journals using the JCR-
SSCI and 1 study from the selected journal using the JCR-SCI. To additionally include the JCR-SCI, an
iterative double check process was repeated with the journals indexed in the JCR-SCI and another list
of journals was obtained, which is referred to as the “JCR-SCI list”. Table 1 also shows one journal from
this list that has been selected for review. It was decided to include studies discussing AR technology
and its impact on primary education which were published in journals off each of these lists. By
analysing the year of publication of each of the considered studies, it was found that the number of
published studies relating to AR in education has progressively increased year by year, particularly
during the last two years. These results make clear that AR in education is an emerging topic,
corroborating the opinions of Wu et al. (2013) and Chen & Tsai (2012), who pointed out that research
into AR in education is still in its early stages.
Step 1(b): Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Considering the research questions, general criteria defining the time frame for the studies and the
type of studies that are relevant were devised. The following criteria were agreed upon:
General Criteria: (a) Studies published between 2012 and 2017; (b) studies describing applications or
frameworks for AR in primary education; (c) conceptual articles or studies that do not provide evidence
of educational potential based on a research method; (d) articles whose abstract is written in English
but the rest of the paper is in another language.
Specific Criteria: (a) Studies reporting the advantages, disadvantages, instructional affordances and/or
the effectiveness of AR across various primary education subjects; (b) studies describing applications
considering user models and/or adaptive processes combined with AR; (c) studies describing
applications of AR in primary education for students in the context of diversity; (d) studies presenting
evaluation methods for AR applications in various educational scenarios.
Exclusion Criteria: (a) Studies not identified as “articles” in the selected journals (e.g., books, book
reviews/chapters, editorial publication information, etc.); (b) studies that briefly mention the term “AR”
but are on an unrelated topic.
Step 1(c): Categories for analysis and data coding: In this stage, a group of analysis categories and sub-
categories are defined for each research question. This categorisation will assist grouping of all relevant
studies based on their shared characteristics. During the systematic review process, some sub-
categories emerged and others were refined to cover all relevant information. The list of categories for
the analysis informed by the research questions is as follows:
(1) What are the potential benefits and limitations regarding the learning effectiveness of AR game-
based applications in primary education?
Both target group and subjects of primary education are based on the International Standard
Classification of Education (UNESCO, 2012). In addition, this review also places importance on the
reported purposes, learning topics, advantages or limitations on student performance and learning
gain, and the negative perceptions of using AR across different devices.
(2): What are the mainstream game-based instructional and learning approaches that students
participate in with the purpose of improving their learning outcomes?
(a) types of game-based/game-like processes; (b) types of user modelling; (c) tablets or smartphones
used according to learning contents or the instructional methods that have been previously utilised.
(3): What research methods and data collection tools have been chosen to measure learning gains using
AR technology?
Content analysis allows research trends of a topic to be identified by analysing the articles’ content and
grouping papers according to their shared characteristics. This method was applied to extract the
information from each paper. The studies were manually coded separately according to their key
characteristics and were classified according to the categories and sub-categories defined above.
Results and Conducting the Review
In this section, the results of conducting the review are described and discussed. In step 2(a) a manual
search was conducted in the selected journals and the inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to
select the studies for the review, leading to a selection of 17 journal studies. Steps 2(b) and 2(c) were
carried out by reading the papers thoroughly; the data coding process was performed according to the
categories defined in step 1(c). The results were presented in line with the research questions. As the
research methods used for samples, instructional design methods, research and data collection differed
so greatly, it was not possible to undertake an accurate meta-analysis. The overall results were
synthesised to extract the main themes under which the findings of the review are identified and
presented. In the analysed studies, the age groups of primary school students ranged from 6-13 years.
As the process was inductive, there were no initial themes assigned to the data. Each paper was read
several times and codes were assigned to individual findings. The latter appear in Table 2 below, which
presents the most crucial observations and aims to illustrate the answers for the raised questions.
Table 2. General overview of primary education studies
Table 3 displays the study results with respect to the category “Effectiveness of AR”. Since a single study
can report more than one sub-category of effectiveness, each study can also fulfil more than one sub-
category. The majority of the studies reported that AR applications lead to “better learning performance
and/or learning gains” (58%) in educational settings. Increases in “improved perceived enjoyment” (10%)
and student motivation and engagement” (10%) were also reported. The results show that AR is a
promising technology for improving student’s learning performance and motivation relating to the
methods of interaction and graphical content that can be utilised. “Students’ positive attitudes” (6%)
and “Pervasiveness of learning content” (6%) were less common, but they are also important in
educational settings.
Table 3. Effectiveness of AR use in educational settings
This review considered three types of AR according to the classification of Chen and Tsai (2012): marker-
based, marker-less, and location-based. The former requires the use of markers (i.e., labels containing
a coloured or black and white pattern that is easily recognised or registered by the AR application with
input from device cameras) in order to trigger an event, such as displaying a 3D image spatially aligned
with the marker’s position. Marker-less AR is based on the recognition of object shapes, while location-
based AR displays information according to the user’s geographical location.
Results in Table 4 reveal that the majority of the reviewed studies used marker-based AR (52%), thus
indicating that most AR educational applications are likely to use markers. A possible explanation might
be that the tracking process of markers is more effective and more stable compared to the marker-less
tracking techniques currently available. The use of static markers decreases the tracking work required
and reduces the number of objects that need to be detected (Chen & Tsai, 2012). Therefore, using
markers for educational purposes is recommended for providing students with a better learning
experience until superior and more reliable techniques for tracking are developed for marker-less AR.
Although the latter hasn’t been widely used in educational settings (17%), Microsoft Kinect sensors and
similar technologies have been used for AR educational applications (Cai et al., 2016; Squire & Jan,
2007), as they appear to provide some advantages in tracking and registering objects with marker-less
AR. Location-based AR (24%) applications are gaining momentum, possibly due to the availability of
sensors in mobile devices (e.g., accelerometer, compass, and integrated GPS) that allow users’ location
and geographical position to inform the AR experience.
Table 4. Types of AR applied in education
Table 5 presents the data collected on the limitations of AR in educational settings. According to these,
the most observed limitation in the reviewed studies is the fact that “teachers cannot manipulate the
same system for different educational subjects (lack of interdisciplinary programs)” (35%). Students may
feel frustrated if the application doesn’t track or display data properly, or if they struggle to use the
markers or the device to view the augmented information. To overcome this limitation, improvements
to the algorithms and/or hardware used for image tracking and processing must be made. In addition
to this, guidelines for designing AR-based educational experiences should be developed and further
research is required to improve their usability. Another reported limitation was that “students paid too
much attention to virtual information” (24%) due to the novelty of this technology, which may cause
loss of interest when the novelty factor wears off. Equally, this can occur because “complex AR systems
may have a modest learning curve” (12%). Other reported limitations include “too short periods of
assessment to measure student learning performance” (12%) and the fact that “teachers need to
develop additional learning material exclusive to the AR needs” (17%). It is recommended that further
research be undertaken in developing intuitive AR authoring tools that do not rely heavily on
programming, so that teachers can create their AR content more easily.
Table 5. Limitations of AR in educational settings
Discussion and Conclusion
ARGBL in primary education has great potential, as it can lead to students’ cognitive acceleration,
increased self-management, and enhancement to their engagement in practice-based activities. This
review aspires to assist instructional technologists and educators, as it will allow them to recognise the
educational potential and affordances of AR technologies across different disciplines and guide them
towards adopting these technologies in their practice. The ever-increasing advancement in hardware
and software along with the widespread use of mobile devices can provide the opportunity to rapidly
increase students’ learning participation through practical hands-on experiments. Before major
progress in this area can be achieved, appropriate instructional design methods using different AR
technologies for a variety of educational subjects must be developed along with AR authoring tools
capable of facilitating the teaching and learning process. Additionally, as both ease of use and intuitive
user interfaces (UI) are instrumental for a rewarding AR experience, it is imperative that UI specially
tailored for young audiences are developed. Furthermore, case studies focusing on instructional design
catering to the needs of specific teaching topics would help identify the most suitable elements to focus
on. Finally, since course quality significantly affects student retention, the learning material should be
clear, understandable, comprehensive, and relevant to the course learning objectives.
To summarise, these are the main findings of this review: (a) Science is the educational field where AR
has been applied the most in primary education, with Social Sciences running a close second. ARGBL is
suitable for teaching Science, as it offers the ability to bring to life invisible, abstract, and complex
concepts in 3D or to visualise scientific phenomena that could not be seen without a specialised device.
Social science courses, such as History, Tourism, Archaeology, and Geography can become more
engaging if AR is combined with geolocation to provide location-triggered contextual information to
students. Additionally, language learning can be more fun through the use of AR flashcards, while a
smart AR globe could teach children about countries and cultures from around the world in an
interactive and playful way; (b) Marker-based AR is the most commonly used type of AR in primary
education, followed closely by location-based AR, owing to the availability of sensors in mobile devices
such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, and GPS (Chen & Tsai, 2012; Hung et al., 2016). Marker-less AR
still requires some improvement in terms of algorithms for object tracking, but the use of current
motion tracking hardware such as the Microsoft Kinect is becoming increasingly popular for these AR
systems (Cai et al., 2016); (c) Educational AR mainly focuses on explaining and/or providing additional
information about topics of interest, with AR games and AR lab experiments being growing fields. The
main advantages of AR game-based learning experiences are knowledge gain, increased motivation,
augmented interaction, and enhanced collaboration. With the use of AR technology, students can
improve their learning performance, partly due to improved positive attitudes towards the learning
process; (d) most studies in this review have used medium-sized research samples (between 30 and
200 participants) and have employed mixed evaluation methods. The most prevalent data collection
methods were questionnaires, interviews, and surveys. Lastly, most of the studies were cross-sectional
and quasi-experimental.
From an instructional perspective, this study suggests that interactive activities using AR technology
can be designed and supported by adjusting the nature and complexity of different learning tasks
through interdisciplinary instructional contexts. Motivation and enrichment of the learning experience
are the two pillars of ARGBL. Target users who may find the AR integration more efficient are those
who are not very experienced in the use of mobile devices in educational settings or those who prefer
hands-on and practice-based learning, as AR would help them acquire technology-based and immersive
experiences by combining the real and virtual worlds. When designed in a targeted manner, such
technologies should involve relevant tools and functionalities that support collaborative knowledge-
based work and follow up and track the co-constructed knowledge in a consistent manner. Recent
studies (Efstathiou et al., 2017; Wu et al., 2013; Chen & Tsai, 2012) have reported new research
directions and there is also a need for the connection of instructional methods underpinned by learning
theories, such as Constructionism or Activity Theory for the creation, manipulation, and presentation
of interactive 3D apps in AR game-based learning. To consider such an effort, instructional technologists
and designers need to understand how to design AR learning experiences tailored to the topic to be
taught and taking into consideration the skills of learners. In the creation of multisensory experiences
with AR technology for interdisciplinary school programs, researchers must explore their impact on
learning outcomes. There are also many possibilities offered by AR to reduce the financial cost of
running many learning activities which require expensive learning materials. For example, combining
virtual objects with real objects, such as students’ hands or interactive world globes, could be an
appropriate option to increase students’ motivation and participation that can have a direct impact on
learning outcomes. Longitudinal studies with long term analysis of the learning experiences could also
provide important insights into the suitability of this technology for specific learning subjects.
In conclusion, the present review intends to contribute to instructional education design by providing
evidence of AR game-based applications’ potential to support teaching and learning in different areas
of primary education. The results may offer new insights to researchers and provide educators with
effective advice and guidelines on how to incorporate this instructional model into their teaching
practice. Further research is still required, examining different facets of game-based AR applications for
primary education. These should be based around additional theoretical frameworks and/or proposals
for evaluation methods to further establish the pedagogy of AR game-based applications among
different courses.
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... Given the combination of interactivity and immediate feedback, AR has the potential to reshape some modern learning models, such as the student-centered learning model. It is important to note that plenty of educational AR-based tools use game-based design principles which are important for the learning process and, in addition, could influence students' motivation and knowledge [7][8][9]. AR technology has the potential to become a must-have aid tool for modern classrooms, due to providing learning experiences that are contextual and embodied [10], which can be achieved by overlaying the real world with virtual data, which is one of AR's most important features [11]. Therefore, AR may be an innovative teaching method that efficiently promotes learning, and this has led to a growing number of studies being conducted recently in the field of education. ...
... Participants also agreed that the system is playful, since it can combine entertainment with learning. The results are in line with findings from previous studies, which concluded that AR can provide richer learning experience, through game-based aspects [6,7]; therefore, teachers would like to incorporate such technologies into their classes [2]. ...
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Augmented Reality (AR) could provide key benefits in education and create a richer user experience by increasing the motivation and engagement of the students. To this end, the current paper presents a system with three AR applications for teaching physics in the fifth and sixth grades of primary school and in the first grade of secondary school, and the ultimate goal is the development of a unified platform that covers the subject of physics in all classes of K-12 education. The platform provides a useful tool to familiarize both teachers and pupils with AR technologies, aiming to improve the learning and teaching experience and to enhance their skills. The developed system is evaluated in terms of usability, gamification and willingness of the teachers to incorporate this technology into the teaching process. A total of 314 users participated in the research, where they were divided into three user groups: (i) teachers (N = 15), (ii) pupils (N = 189) and (iii) computer science students (N = 110). The outcomes were satisfactory, revealing that the gamified AR applications are easy to use, and teachers are interested in using these AR applications in their classrooms.
... Due to the intricacy of games and their engaging plots, learners might become distracted from reaching ideal learning objectives (Ebrahimzadeh & Alavi, 2017). Learning based on digital games is more expensive than traditional learning because of the high expenses of development, technical support, and staff training (Fotaris et al., 2017). Due to this reason, institutions are opposed to game-based learning, as they require additional human and non-human resources (Pinto & Ferreira, 2017). ...
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The EULALIA (Enhancing University Language courses with an App powered by game-based learning and tangible user interface activities) project aimed to enhance the learning methodologies of four university language courses for Erasmus students in Italy, Malta, Poland and Spain by developing innovative and effective learning tools based on mobile and game-based learning paradigms and the use of tangible user interfaces. This study focuses on Malta by providing an in-depth view of the impact of game-based applications on enhancing international adult learning of Maltese as a second language (ML2). The findings encourage international adult students to learn ML2 through a game-based application to aid in increasing cultural awareness and better communication with locals. As part of the methodology, pre-surveys and post-surveys were used on a test group comprising 28 pre-surveyed and 9 post-surveyed ML2 adult learners who used the app and a reference group of 24 pre-surveyed and 23 post-surveyed ML2 learners who did not use the app. The results revealed that according to the participants, game-based learning did not improve cognitive function even though the learners were more engaged in language activities, and thus could process and absorb a wider range of information. The research found that game-based learning did not have a statistically significant effect on adult learners’ language proficiency and digital skills.
... Table 1 consists an analytical description of the activities in the booklet with the indication of the page, the corresponding learning goals, the assets that were added to enrich and add value to the material based on UDL, and the additional external tools used. Lytridis and Tsinakos (2018, p. 2) reference a systematic review of 17 studies between 2012 and 2017 conducted by Fotaris et al. (2017), according to which it is supported that "AR in education can potentially influence the students' attendance, knowledge transfer, skill acquisition, hands-on digital experience in education in a variety of domains". In a more recent survey, Radu et al. (2022) investigate the impact of AR technologies on cognitive, motivational, and social processes, noting that AR encouraged more balanced group dynamics reducing the dominance of group leaders in collaborative educational settings. ...
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The ever-evolving information and communication technologies (ICTs) have affected the learners’ preferences for on-demand and on-the-spot access to information that challenge the traditional classroom practices and call for a reconstruction of curricula. New educational approaches are to be encompassed so as to align with the tech-savvy Generation Z needs and the contemporary digitized world that demands competences and skills for successful and well-informed personal and professional choices. Nevertheless, consumption and creation of new knowledge in the plethora of the new crowdsourced information ecosystem have to be critically accessed, analyzed, evaluated, and leveraged so as to lead to creativity and innovation. This paper is a report of the design of an educational intervention with the intent to enhance students’ media literacy skills in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) secondary education context leveraging immersive technologies. In the first part there is a review of related work leveraging AR affordances in the EFL context. The second part explores the instructional design and pedagogical framework that AR assets can enrich a course material on media literacy for inclusive education practices taking into consideration students’ preferences on their learning process.
... Augmented Reality (AR) and Game-Based Learning (GBL) are two approaches that have been used by researchers and developers in recent years to provide enhanced learning experiences (Fotaris et al., 2017;Pellas et al., 2019). On the one hand, AR is the superimposing of a virtual layer of information over the real world. ...
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Augmented Reality Game-Based Learning (ARGBL) is becoming increasingly relevant in Technology-Enhanced Learning. Games with AR characteristics, or even AR applications structured with rules and game elements, are proving to be effective and successful learning experiences. There is a need to include teachers in the design, development and implementation process as to make it more effective. In this paper, two case studies where 6 teachers participated are shown in order to validate a methodological approach for the co-design of ARGBL. This is a co-design method that proposes a thorough, iterative process guided by design principles and mediated by dialogue between the stakeholders. Here, the process of co-design with teachers is analyzed and assessed using mixed-methods observations on the use of the produced ARGBL games with students on naturalistic environments. The validation process links the usefulness of the ensuing products with the use of the method and shows the benefits of using co-design methods to create ARGBL experiences.
... Perceptually, AR enhances the actual environment, leading to intensely immersive experiences [26]. AR promises to bring a better play-learn experience by (1) visualizing knowledge and concepts from alternative perspectives, for example by bringing to life 3D invisible and abstract concepts [27], (2) facilitating social interactions with tangible and virtual materials, regardless of geography or time restrictions [28], and (3) by bridging formal and informal learning by eliminating barriers between virtual and physical worlds [29,30]. To incorporate these AR characteristics into game-based learning, designers should first understand how game aspects can be designed with AR and their implications in educational contexts. ...
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(1) Background: Augmented reality (AR) game-based learning, has received increased attention in recent years. Fantasy is a vital gaming feature that promotes engagement and immersion experience for children. However, situating learning with AR fantasy to engage learners and fit pedagogical contexts needs structured analysis of educational scenarios for different subjects. (2) Methods: We present a combined study using our own built AR games, MathMythosAR2 for mathematics learning, and FancyBookAR for English as second-language learning. For each game, we created a fantasy and a real-life narrative. We investigated player engagement and teachers’ scaffolding through qualitative and quantitative research with 62 participants aged from 7 to 11 years old. (3) Results: We discovered that fantasy narratives engage students in mathematics learning while disengaging them in second-language learning. Participants report a higher imagination with fantasy narratives and a higher analogy with real-life narratives. We found that teachers’ scaffolding for MathMythosAR2 focused on complex interactions, for FancyBookAR, focused on story interpretation and knowledge explanation. (4) Conclusions: It is recommended to mix fantasy and real-life settings, and use simple AR interaction and pedagogical agents that enable teachers’ scaffolding seamlessly. The design of AR fantasy should evaluate whether the story is intrinsically related to the learning subjects, as well as the requirements of explicit explanation.
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Abstract The student-centred learning (SCL) technique is becoming popular over the teacher-centred teaching (TCL) technique due to its enabling of active learning. Despite some recent attempts to implement SCL in university education, such as in medical sciences, ethnic studies, language learning etc., the reported studies on the application of SCL is handful in the Sri Lankan university system science education. In this regard, we experiment with a SCL technique called student-led classroom (i.e., students teach themselves), which has been reported to have several benefits of active learning. Here, a small group (𝑛=14) of level 300 undergraduates from the degree of Food Engineering and Bioprocess Technology of Uva Wellassa University was chosen. The experiment was carried out in 3-student groups on the module “heat transfer” and the groups were asked to teach one from convection, conduction and radiation to their peers. Their progress was assessed via a question sheet, and the feedback on the technique was recorded. Active participation of students was observed along with the achievement of low-level cognitive skills according to Bloom’s taxonomy. Such cognitive skills better develop when they workout problems. However, the SCL technique has a minimal impact on triggering higher-level cognitive skills. Most students prefer the technique under a minimal workload and when the scope of the task is defined. They further expect to have the guidance of the respective lecturer when “muddy” points are found. Overall, this technique can be recommended to awaken the active participation of students in the class. Keywords: Student-centred learning, SCL, Student-led classroom, BTech undergraduates, Sri Lanka
Conference Paper
Area measurement has a high priority in mathematics school education. Nevertheless, many students have problems understanding the concept of area measurement. An AR tool for visualizing square units on objects in the real world is developed to enable teachers to support understanding already in primary school. This work-in-progress paper presents the initial test version and discusses the first teaching experiment results. The students’ feedback and use of the app showed possible adaptations of the AR tool, e.g., that the idea of dynamic geometry could be incorporated in the future.
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The 8th annual International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN2022) was the first iLRN event to offer a hybrid experience, with two days of presentations and activities on the iLRN Virtual Campus (powered by ©Virbela), followed by three days on location at the FH University of Applied Sciences BFI in Vienna, Austria.
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Program for International Student Assessment results indicate that while reading comprehension needs to be promoted, teachers are struggling to find ways to motiv- ate students to do reading comprehension activities and although technology- enhanced learning approaches are entering the classroom, researchers are still experimenting with them to determine their benefits and implications. Among such technology-enhanced learning approaches, we find augmented reality and game-based learning, both of which have proven to be useful in educational settings; nonetheless, few studies have observed them being used jointly. Some open ques- tions to be asked are as follows: Does the use of augmented reality games in the classroom benefit students in terms of performance and motivation? Is the reading activity experience enriched when we use them to promote reading comprehension? In this study, and with the help of teachers, we devised an augmented reality game using a design-based research approach. We then tested it in a real classroom and carried out both quantitative and qualitative observations. Our results show that while results in reading comprehension using the game show no difference to results from the more traditional approaches, children do display greater motivation and interest in the activity and the activity is enriched as it promotes problem solving, exploration, and socialization behavior.
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The aim of the study was to examine the effects of augmented reality technology on stories in terms of narrative skill, story length and creativity and also to examine correlations between these variables. Posttest-only design with a nonequivalent group model was used. In this study, the sample consisted of 100 fifth-grade elementary students, comprising 46 boys and 54 girls. Purposive and convenience sampling methods were applied. For purposive sampling, the group’s ages, education levels, and experiences in storytelling activities were gathered, and for convenience sampling, easy access to schools was considered. As data collection tools, a suitable narrative scale was used which was found in the literature and creative story form was developed by the researcher. According to the findings, mean scores for all variables for the experimental group were higher than those for the control group. Also, a statistically significant mean difference was found between the experimental and control groups with regard to narrative skill, length of stories, and creativity in stories. In fact, a positive correlation was found between all variables. It is important to recognize when a technology is found to contribute positively to narrative skill and creativity in telling stories, and to ensure this technology is used. Determining correlation between these variables may provide a contribution to studies about evaluating the effect of the new technologies.
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The objective of this report is to propose comprehensive guidelines for systematic literature reviews appropriate for software engineering researchers, including PhD students. A systematic literature review is a means of evaluating and interpreting all available research relevant to a particular research question, topic area, or phenomenon of interest. Systematic reviews aim to present a fair evaluation of a research topic by using a trustworthy, rigorous, and auditable methodology. The guidelines presented in this report were derived from three existing guidelines used by medical researchers, two books produced by researchers with social science backgrounds and discussions with researchers from other disciplines who are involved in evidence-based practice. The guidelines have been adapted to reflect the specific problems of software engineering research. The guidelines cover three phases of a systematic literature review: planning the review, conducting the review and reporting the review. They provide a relatively high level description. They do not consider the impact of the research questions on the review procedures, nor do they specify in detail the mechanisms needed to perform meta-analysis.
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The implementation of Mobile Pedestrian Navigation and Augmented Reality in mobile learning contexts shows new forms of interaction when students are taught by means of learning activities in formal settings. This research presents the educational, quantitative, and qualitative evaluation of an Augmented Reality and Mobile Pedestrian Navigation app. The software was designed for mobile learning in an educational context, to evaluate its effectiveness when applied as a teaching tool, in comparison to similar tools such as those present in e-learning. A mixed-method analysis was used, with primary school students from Chile as subjects (n = 143). They were split into one control group and one experimental group. The control group worked in an e-learning environment, while the experimental group performed the activity as field work, making use of the app (m-learning). Students were evaluated pretest and posttest using an objective test to measure their level of learning. In parallel, a satisfaction survey was carried out concerning the use of these technologies, in addition to interviews with several students and teachers of the experimental group. Pretest-posttest results indicate that the experimental group outperformed the control group in their learning levels. The results of the interviews and the satisfaction survey show that these technologies, combined with fieldwork, increase the effectiveness of the teaching-learning processes. Further, they promote the interaction of students with contents for learning, and they improve students’ performance in the educational process. The main goal is to provide a methodology for the analysis of an ad-hoc designed app. The app is intended to provide an m-learning process for subjects being taught about cultural heritage. The quantitative and qualitative results obtained show that it can be more effective than using similar technologies in e-learning contexts.
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This study investigated the contribution of a location-based augmented reality (AR) inquiry-learning environment in developing 3rd grade students’ historical empathy and conceptual understanding. Historical empathy is an important element of historical thinking, which is considered to improve conceptual understanding and support the development of democratic citizens by helping students interpret, understand and connect patterns of human activity across time. Fifty-three 3rd grade students, grouped in two research conditions, participated in this study. Students visited an archaeological site with and without the support of an AR learning environment on mobile tablet devices. Data from all students were collected following a pre- and post-test design. Twelve students from the AR condition participated in individual interviews and all AR students took a delayed post-test. The results showed that students’ conceptual understanding and historical empathy increased from pre to post for both conditions. Statistically significant differences were found between the AR field trip and the traditional field trip students in the development of empathy and conceptual understanding. These results add to the literature by supporting the potential of AR technologies for the development of students’ historical empathy; several design implications are also discussed.
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This article explores the impact of an augmented reality iPad-based mobile game, called The Great STEM Caper, on students’ interaction at a science center. An open-source, location-based game platform called ARIS (i.e. Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling) was used to create an iPad-based mobile game. The game used QR scan codes and a challenge-based game structure to encourage engagement in science. Participants wore head-mounted GoPro cameras to record interactions within the physical and social environment. The purpose of this research was to study the impact of a mobile game on student interactions in a science center. Gender differences in gameplay behaviors and perceptions were compared. The study included a quasi-experimental design with two groups: one group that played the iPad mobile game during their science center visit, and one group that explored the science center in a traditional free exploration manner. Video data from the GoPro cameras provided examination of the different ways students interacted with the science center. The female students outperformed the male students on every measure of the iPad game achievement. Lazzaro’s (2004) four types of fun was used to describe the gender differences in game perceptions and interactions. Females tended to enjoy hard fun and collaborative people fun, while males enjoyed easy fun and competitive people fun. The females tended to be more goal-oriented, persistent in the face of difficulty, and appreciative of hard fun. The results of this study have implications for the design of mobile-based gaming technology to encourage interaction in an informal science center setting.
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The objective of this study was to determine the usefulness of augmented reality (AR) in teaching. An experiment was conducted to examine children's learning performances, which included the number of errors they made, their ability to remember the content of what they had read and their satisfaction with the three types of teaching materials, including a picture book, physical interactions and an AR graphic book. The three teaching materials were aimed to respectively demonstrate the characteristics of six bacteria with 2D graphics, 3D physical objects, and 3D virtual objects. Seventy‐two fifth‐grade children were randomly selected to participate in the study, and they were divided into three groups, each of which used the assigned teaching material to learn the name of the six different bacteria in intervals of 1, 2 and 3 min. Results showed that the AR graphic book offers a practical and hands‐on way for children to explore and learn about the bacteria. Follow‐up interviews indicated that the children liked the AR graphic book the most, and they preferred it to the other materials. Lay Description What is currently known about Augmented Reality and learning? • Augmented reality (AR) provides a new perspective for learning by allowing learners to visualize complex spatial relationships and abstract concepts. What the paper adds to the subject matter? • AR improves learning performances to a similar extent as the most used teaching materials (both picture books and physical interactions) do. AR not only facilitates learning but also increases learning motivations better than conventional teaching materials do. The implications of study findings for practitioners • If children feel bored about reading textbooks, give them AR (because AR effectively enhances learning and children are more motivated when using AR). • AR teaching material is a good alternative to conventional picture book and physical interactions.
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An antagonistic relationship is traditionally seen as existing between eco-education and technology, with conventional instructional approaches usually characterized by a commentator guiding students in field learning. Unfortunately, in this passive learning approach, the discovery of rich ecological resources in eco-environments to stimulate positive emotions and experiences is often condensed into a “sightseeing”. Therefore, precise and systematic guidance focused on providing a rich learning experience is needed in field learning and eco-education. Based on Kolb's experiential learning theory, the current study develops an eco-discovery AR-based learning model (EDALM) which is implemented in an eco-discovery AR-based learning system (EDALS). In a field experiment at a botanical garden, 21 middle school students constitute three groups participated in a learning activity using different learning types and media. Quantitative results indicate that, compared to the human-guidance-only model, EDALS successfully stimulates positive emotions and improved learning outcomes among learners. In post-activity interviews, students indicated they found the exploration mode provided by the proposed system to be more interesting and helpful to their learning in school. The use of attractive technologies increase students’ willingness not only to learn more about the environment, but also to develop a more positive emotional attachment to it.