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Learning Molecular Structures in a Tangible Augmented Reality Environment

, The Open University of Japan, Japan ; , FiatLux Co. Ltd., Japan

IJVPLE Volume 2, Number 1, ISSN 1947-8518 Publisher: IGI Global


This article presents the characteristics of using a tangible tabletop environment produced by augmented reality (AR), aimed at improving the environment in which learners observe three-dimensional molecular structures. The authors perform two evaluation experiments. A performance test for a user interface demonstrates that learners with a tangible AR environment were able to complete the task of identifying molecular structures more quickly and accurately than those with a typical desktop-PC environment using a Web browser. A usability test by participants who learned molecular structures and answered relevant questions demonstrates that the environments had no effect on their learning of molecular structures. However, a preference test reveals that learners preferred a more tangible AR environment to a Web-browser environment in terms of overall enjoyment, reality of manipulation, and sense of presence, and vice versa in terms of ease of viewing, experience, and durability.


Asai, K. & Takase, N. (2011). Learning Molecular Structures in a Tangible Augmented Reality Environment. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 2(1), 1-18. IGI Global. Retrieved December 3, 2021 from .