Bridging the Learning Gap Augmented Reality's Impact on Associative Information Processing, Cognitive Load, and Working Memory: A Mixed-Methods Research Study

David R. Squires*
Assistant Professor, Instructional Design and Educational Technology Program, College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas, USA.
Periodicity:April - June'2018


A mixed methodology study measuring the use of Augmented Reality (AR) information overlay mapping in online instructional design courses, and the impact on participant's working memory is presented. Novel AR technological expansions, and the rapid proliferation of powerful computing tools embodied by emerging mobile and wearable st computing devices, illustrate a significant shift in 21 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. 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. The results of the study indicated several data points that posit affirmative correlation in regard 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 marginal statistical distinctions. Future studies with mobile AR implementations are recommended with larger statistically significant participant sample sizes to measure potential impact on working memory and associative information processing.


Augmented Reality, Online Learning, Mobile Learning Analytics, Working Memory, e-Corsi, TLX Cognitive Load Assessment, Mixed-Methods Research.

How to Cite this Article?

Squires, R. D. (2018). Bridging the Learning Gap Augmented Reality's Impact on Associative Information Processing, Cognitive Load, and Working Memory: A Mixed-Methods Research Study. i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, 15(1), 17-25.


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