Augmented reality information overlay mapping
Squires, David Ray
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This mixed methods study examined the use of Augmented Reality (AR) information overlay mapping in online instructional design courses and the impact on participants working memory. Novel AR technological expansions and the rapid proliferation of powerful computing tools embodied by emerging mobile and wearable computing devices illustrates a significant shift in 21st-century learning strategies. This study may help to increase the body of knowledge on effective AR integration plans, adapted working memory utilization in technology-enhanced classrooms, and the viability of AR assistive devices in online learning domain studies. The influence of information overlays, outside industry specific domains, is relatively under-examined in the literature. AR screen reading applications may have the potential to function as assistive and help-seeking instruments to increase user visual and spatial memory recall, while simultaneously providing learners with tailored and systematized learning content. Applying AR learning technology in online electronic learning environments remains emergent, and yet there are indications in the literature that AR classroom integrations may assist learners to acquire, and to express, knowledge more readily than traditional online learning techniques alone. Through initial pilot studies, and based on surfacing evidence from the literature, this study investigated whether AR systems provided a uniquely beneficial learning context due to AR’s native function to overlay information onto manifold electronic and physical domain settings. While the quantitative data collected in this study was limited due to a minor sample size (n=27), the qualitative results indicated that AR users were exceedingly engaged, and recalled content readily; indicating greater student engagement, perhaps due to the novel nature of AR application being implemented in participants online learning classes. The results of the study indicated several qualitative data points that posit something affirmative happened in regards to recall and memory with the AR only group. However, the general combination of qualitative and quantitative data to triangulate a discernible relationship between AR and working memory gains remained inconclusive overall, with very minor to no discernable statistical differences. Future studies with mobile AR implementations are recommended with larger statistically significant participant sample sizes to measure AR’s ability to increase working memory and knowledge recall.