Augmented reality for learning mathematics: A pilot study with webxr as an accessible tool

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One of the concerns in service mathematics courses, such as calculus for engineering, is students’ interest in these studies. Research suggests that engineering undergraduates’ lack of awareness about the importance of mathematics for their study success and for their careers contributes to their low motivation for mathematics. An approach to increasing student motivation is to take advantage of technological tools to provide students with more engaging learning experiences. Recent studies showed that augmented reality (AR) enhances student engagement, motivation, and knowledge retention. However, implementing AR can be challenging since it can be quite costly and technically complex. The current paper describes a case study in which an AR application was designed and developed using WebXR, in the context of a service mathematics course for teaching calculus. The AR content involves drawing of level curves and the visualization of a volcano and the flow of lava to support students’ learning of directional derivatives. A pilot study was conducted to examine engineering undergraduates’ perceptions of using AR for learning mathematics. Results show that students perceived using AR for learning math as enjoyable and motivating. Students reported that AR content adds value to their classes by making the mathematical concepts clearer and helping them apply what they have learned to real life. However, the AR content did not work well on all mobile phones and all versions of web browsers. Lessons learned from the design and development of AR using WebXR as well as recommendations for future studies are discussed in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 50th Annual Conference Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC)
EditorsHannu-Matti Järvinen, Santiago Silvestre, Ariadna Llorens, Balàzs Nagy
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event50th Annual Conference of The European Society for Engineering Education - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 19 Sep 202222 Sep 2022
Conference number: 50


Conference50th Annual Conference of The European Society for Engineering Education
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2022


  • service mathematics
  • augmented reality
  • student engagement
  • motivation
  • technology-enhanced learning


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