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    Can Augmented Reality (AR) applications enhance students’ experiences? Gratifications, engagement and learning styles

    tom Dieck, Mandy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8765-8969, Cranmer, Ella, Prim, Alexandre and Bamford, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1050-1357 (2024) Can Augmented Reality (AR) applications enhance students’ experiences? Gratifications, engagement and learning styles. Information Technology and People, 37 (3). pp. 1251-1278. ISSN 0959-3845

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    Abstract

    Purpose: The use of augmented reality (AR) and experiential learning go hand in hand. Although AR learning opportunities have been well discussed, there is limited empirical research on the use of AR within higher education settings. Drawing from the uses and gratifications theory (U&GT), this study aims to explore the use of AR for learning satisfaction and student engagement, while also examining differences in learning styles. Design/methodology/approach: This study used experiments with higher education students in the UK to explore the use of AR as part of the learning experience. Data from 173 students who experienced AR as part of their learning experience were analysed using partial least square analysis. Findings: The authors found that hedonic, utilitarian, sensual and modality gratifications influence AR learning satisfaction and student engagement. Furthermore, the authors found differences between active and passive learners with regards to utilitarian (information seeking, personalisation) and sensual gratifications (immersion, presence) and effects on learning satisfaction. Originality/value: This study developed and validated a U&GT framework incorporating different learning styles rooted in Kolb’s learning cycle. Findings provide important implications for the use of commercial AR applications as part of the learning experience within higher education settings.

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