Augmented Reality in elearning

 Augmented Reality (AR) is a relatively new concept when it comes to using it in elearning. Is it even possible? Or is it scary expensive technology which cannot be used for training programs? Let’s explore the basics to find out.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is a superimposition of images on a reality based background.

What are its uses?

The most common use is in GPS and navigation technology. Most users are familiar with using it as mobile technology where user holds up the app against a real background and sees maps.

How can it be used in education?

There are many apps which use it in education.
1. Trigger image is provided either in print form or on a website.

  1. This trigger image works like a QR code, where the user can hold up a scanner device and watch the image come alive.

For instance, a child can color a printed sheet with a trigger image and on holding the app on the image, can watch it come alive. Or you can use it to learn about plant structure and how it grows. Watch this video for more.

How can this be used for adult training?

Trigger images act to represent a 3D based reality view.  On click, it works to open description based pop ups on your app.

Trigger images can be on the web, in print form, on t-shirts or even on coffee mugs. Imagine scanning your company logo for a flash on leave policy or training calendar! Instead of scrolling down an e-manual!


The use of this technology is nascent but it is usable and makes content far more engaging. Imagine its use in study of geography, biology and other conceptual material, which can come to life via a simple app.

AR apps used in this manner would be supported by back end databases. Usage statistics and user response can also be tracked and stored on similar database very useful for analytical purpose.

AR is also used for supermarkets and product descriptions. In not so far future, it will be used in live training, in workshops and in elearning. AR can create the kind of immersive reality which will engage the user immediately and increase potential for sensory learning. It is an easy to use form of experiential learning without creating complex VR platforms.


What is the challenge to Instructional Design?

AR will have to be combined with other technologies such as 2D content; printed handouts; web explorations. Here, the instructional designer is not just designing one simple elearning or training program, but creating a learning environment.


The challenge to ID is immense as each aspect of learning will have to seamlessly connect and lead to completion of the learning goal.

It will involve creating a series of learning interventions on various platforms. It will make the learning experience exciting and retention factor is also likely to be higher.

The ID cannot get away with creating simple ten screens for a small elearning output. He or she will have to work at designing an entire learning ecosystem.

Augmented Reality (AR) is going to be that wave of change, which will take the boredom out of standard one hour elearning programs. It will incorporate animation, 3D, video, audio and text. A complete sensory experience to minimize external distractions.


 image source: pixabay


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