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Examining Young Children's Perception toward Augmented Reality-Infused Dramatic Play

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Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 63, Number 3, ISSN 1042-1629


Amid the increasing interest in applying augmented reality (AR) in educational settings, this study explores the design and enactment of an AR-infused robot system to enhance children's satisfaction and sensory engagement with dramatic play activities. In particular, we conducted an exploratory study to empirically examine children's perceptions toward the computer- and robot-mediated AR systems designed to make dramatic play activities interactive and participatory. A multi-disciplinary expert group consisting of early childhood education experts, preschool teachers, AR specialists, and robot engineers collaborated to develop a learning scenario and technological systems for dramatic play. The experiment was conducted in a kindergarten setting in Korea, with 81 children (aged 5-6 years old). The participants were placed either in the computer-mediated AR condition (n = 40) or the robot-mediated AR condition (n = 41). We administered an instrument to measure children's perceived levels of the following variables: (a) satisfaction (i.e., interest in dramatic play & user-friendliness), (b) sensory immersion (i.e., self-engagement, environment-engagement & interaction-engagement), and (c) media recognition (i.e., collaboration with media, media function & empathy with media). Data analysis indicates that children in the robot-mediated condition showed significantly higher perceptions than those in the computer-mediated condition regarding the following aspects: interest in dramatic play (satisfaction), interactive engagement (sensory immersion), and empathy with media (media recognition). Furthermore, it was found that the younger-aged children and girls, in particular, perceived AR-infused dramatic play more positively than the older-aged children and boys, respectively. The contribution of this study is to provide empirical evidence about the affordances of robots and AR-based learning systems for young children. This remains a relatively unexplored area of research in the field of learning technologies. Implications of the current study and future research directions are also discussed.


Han, J., Jo, M., Hyun, E. & So, H.j. (2015). Examining Young Children's Perception toward Augmented Reality-Infused Dramatic Play. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(3), 455-474. Retrieved February 4, 2023 from .

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