Experimenting with electromagnetism using augmented reality: Impact on flow student experience and educational effectiveness Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2014

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 13


  • 71

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0360-1315

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-782X


  • Educational researchers have recognized Augmented Reality (AR) as a technology with great potential to impact affective and cognitive learning outcomes. However, very little work has been carried out to substantiate these claims. The purpose of this study was to assess to which extent an AR learning application affects learners' level of enjoyment and learning effectiveness. The study followed an experimental/control group design using the type of the application (AR-based, web-based) as independent variable. 64 high school students were randomly assigned to the experimental or control group to learn the basic principles of electromagnetism. The participants' knowledge acquisition was evaluated by comparing pre- and post-tests. The participants' level overall-state perception on flow was measured with the Flow State Scale and their flow states were monitored throughout the learning activity. Finally, participants' perceptions of benefits and difficulties of using the augmented reality application in this study were qualitatively identified. The results showed that the augmented reality approach was more effective in promoting students' knowledge of electromagnetic concepts and phenomena. The analysis also indicated that the augmented reality application led participants to reach higher flow experience levels than those achieved by users of the web-based application. However, not all the factors seem to have influence on learners' flow state, this study found that they were limited to: concentration, distorted sense of time, sense of control, clearer direct feedback, and autotelic experience. A deeper analysis of the flow process showed that neither of the groups reported being in flow in those tasks that were very easy or too difficult. However, for those tasks that were not perceived as difficult and included visualization clues, the experimental group showed higher levels of flow that the control group.


  • Telecommunications


  • secondary education; simulations; interactive learning environments; applications in subject areas; augmented reality