Identifying the impact of using Augmented and Virtual Reality in educational contexts

Howson, Oliver and Gilardi, Marco (2019). Identifying the impact of using Augmented and Virtual Reality in educational contexts. In: Twenty-sixth International Conference on Learning, 24-26 Jul 2019, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom.


In recent years immersive Virtual Reality (iVR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have grown in popularity and their potential for technology enhanced learning has been explored by researchers and practitioners. However, a clear picture of the effectiveness of these technologies as teaching tools has not yet been drawn and it is not yet clear what benefits and drawbacks these new technologies bring to the classroom. We present in this work a structured meta-review of the literature on the impact and applications of AR/iVR technologies in educational contexts. The review has been restricted to published articles that investigate applications of AR/iVR technologies in child, adult and work-based education that have been published after 2012, the year after which AR/iVR technologies have started to become widely available on the market. This investigation also aims to understand whether AR/iVR-based education is being built towards specific learning objectives. 2,592 potential articles were filtered down through abstract and title review to 123 articles which were categorised as vocational/work-based – adult (54%), academic/university (24%) and child education (23%) This work reports on interim findings of the review covering the ages 5-18 which is the age range of UK compulsory child education. Interim findings suggest AR/iVR is more widespread in vocational education contexts than in academic education, their use in Academia is not yet pervasive, mainly restricted to research investigations rather than being normal practice. The use of AR/iVR technologies in education has a positive impact on engagement, motivation, comprehension and retention when compared to traditional educational methods.

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