AR in education #5: Advantages and Disadvantages

Hello again! In the following blog entry I will be writing about the advantages and limitations of using AR technology in the educational sector, which many studies already have been conducted to establish.

Advantages & Benefits

Many studies indicate that the use of AR in the educational field brings many benefits. According to a meta-review by Garzón, Pavón and Baldiris (2019), which analyzed 61 scientific publications, a total of 100% mentioned some kind of advantage when using AR systems in education. The following factors are the main advantages mentioned in their paper:

  • Learning gain: When using AR systems, students can improve their academic performance or even obtain better scores than students using traditional approaches. This improvement was reported not only by data, but also for different teachers and the students themselves
  • Motivation: The use of AR can increase the motivation of students as well as their level of fun while learning, compared to other pedagogical tools
  • Sensory engagement: When AR activates multiple senses, knowledge retention can improve.
  • Abstract concepts: AR can ideal to explain unobservable phenomena (i.e. the movement of the sun)
  • Autonomy: AR technology can not only help retain knowledge, but also gives students the possibility of retaining it for longer periods of time compared to other pedagogical methodologies
  • Memory retention: The combination of real and virtual worlds can increase the autonomy of students taking into account their natural abilities and motivation for using technological devices
  • Collaboration: AR can create possibilities for collaborative learning around virtual content which can facilitate learning, since it allows learners to interact with their partners, as well as with the educational content
  • Accessibility (not further described in the study)
  • Creativity (not further described in the study)

In a blog (not scientific!) by Sinha (2021) I found some more advantages of AR in education, that were not listed in the aforementioned study: 

  • Easy access to learning materials anytime, anywhere: AR could replace textbooks, physical forms, posters, and printed brochures. This mode of mobile learning could also reduce the cost of learning materials and make it easy for everyone to access
  • Safer practice: In cases like practicing a heart surgery or operating a space shuttle can be done with AR without putting other people in danger or risking millions of dollars in damage if something goes wrong

Disadvantages & Limitations

According to the aforementioned meta review by Garzón, Pavón and Baldiris (2019) 15% of the reviewed publications reported some disadvantages or problems when using AR in educational settings. The following factors are the main disadvantages mentioned in their paper:  

  • Complexity: Complexity can be an issure especially when designing for children. AR being a novel technology, which involves multiple senses, can become a very complex tool especially for those who do not have technological abilities
  • Technical difficulties: Technical problems like latency of wireless networks or limited bandwidth can become a problem as well as lack of teachers’ experience with tech
  • Multitasking: AR applications can demand too much attention, which can be a distraction factor. This can cause students to ignore instructions or important stages of the experience
  • Resistance from teachers: Some teachers may prefer having total control over content, despite recognizing the benefits of using AR applications

In a blog (not scientific!) by Omelchenko (2021) and another blog by Aleksandrova (2021) I found some more advantages of AR in education, that were not listed in the aforementioned study: 

  • Need of proper hardware: The use of AR requires at least a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet (which has to be up-to-date in order to install AR apps), which not all students may have
  • Content portability issues: An AR app needs to work equally well on all platforms and devices


Many studies indicate that AR has the potential to make learning processes faster, more fun and more effective. But some also point out that there are also several problems that can occur when AR is used in educational setting. Some studies also state that the context in which this technology is more effective than other educational media is still not clear and needs further research (Hantono, Nugroho & Santosa, 2018). Some future work could focus on support for teachers in adding and updating content as well as the comparison of AR to traditional teaching methods based on empirical data. It would also be important to do further research on special needs of specific user groups and accessibility features (Garzón, Pavón & Baldiris, 2019).



Aleksandrova, M. (2021, 17. August). Augmented Reality in Education. Dzone.Com.

Garzón, J., Pavón, J., & Baldiris, S. (2019). Systematic review and meta-analysis of augmented reality in educational settings. Virtual Reality, 23, 447-459.

Hantono, B., Nugroho, L.E., & Santosa, P.I. (2018). Meta-Review of Augmented Reality in Education. 2018 10th International Conference on Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ICITEE), 312-315.

Omelchenko, S. (2021, 5. Dezember). Augmented Reality in Education: Use Cases, Benefits & Examples. Program-Ace.

Sinha, S. (2021, 12. Mai). Augmented Reality In Education: A Staggering Insight Into The Future. eLearning Industry.