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In this paper, the authors show that augmented reality technology has a positive impact on the motivation of middle-school students. The Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS) (Keller, 2010) based on the ARCS motivation model (Keller, 1987a) was used to gather information; it considers four motivational factors: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction. Motivational factors of attention and satisfaction in an augmented-reality-based learning environment were better rated than those obtained in a slides-based learning environment. When the impact of the augmented reality system was analyzed in isolation, the attention and confidence factors were the best rated. The usability study showed that although this technology is not mature enough to be used massively in education, enthusiasm of middle-school students diminished most of the barriers found. (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.