Background and Objectives: Education plays a key role in human life. While the teaching of experimental sciences is one of the most important topics that should be accompanied by student's direct experience, in many cases, due to spatial, temporal, or cost-related constraints, it is based solely on traditional books and their one-dimensional media. With the spread of new technologies, there are new opportunities for existing teaching and learning methods that can transform the educational structure. Augmented Reality (AR) technology, as a novel paradigm, potentially adds a new feature to the range of traditional student books that not only adds multimedia elements, but also allows interactive engagement with the content of them. Augmented reality, as one of the ways of distance learning, by simulating the real world in the form of animation, virtual objects, three-dimensional images, sound and similar elements makes it possible for the user to interact with the with the experiments of a lesson virtually. This study aims to evaluate the effect of interactive augmented reality based education on the learning and remembering of the content of textbooks.
Methods: An experimental study in the pre-test and post-test quasi-experimental framework was performed on two groups of 18 sixth grade elementary school students. For this purpose, two scenarios have been selected from student science book and implemented in an interactive augmented reality application. The control group was trained through traditional teaching method. On the other hand, in addition to the traditional teaching method, the experiment group’s training was reinforced with the AR application. Students' learning and remembering evaluation was carried out through two tests. The validity of tests confirmed by the teachers of science in Education District 2 of Tabriz and their reliability has been calculated through Kuder – Richardson Formula.
Findings: The results of analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) showed a significant statistical difference between the control and experimental groups. Also, the learning and remembering in students who were trained in interactive augmented reality were more effective than the other group.
Conclusion: According to the results of the experiments, and the comparative review of the theoretical subjects, the use of augmented reality technology has been reported as a useful and effective supplemental tool for textbooks that can, beyond the spatial and temporal constraints, facilitate the training process. Also, the interaction in AR encourages learners to replace the active role with the passive one and to learn the topics with more mental participation. On the other hand, the possibility of repeating augmented reality scenarios in educational topics, regardless of spatial, temporal, and cost-realted constraints, allows users to fix bugs and ambiguities, which are other advantages of using this technology. Finally, by examining these capabilities and the ubiquity of mobile phones in today's world, we can predict the presence of virtual laboratories in mobile smartphones in the near future; which can be useful in deprived areas of the country as a replacement of the lack of minimum facilities.
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