Examining Thai students' experiences of augmented reality technology in a university language education classroom
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Descriptive mixed-methods were employed to investigate the experiences and perceptions of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Thai students in higher education in integrating Augmented Reality technology (AR) in their reading classroom. Participants were queried on their habitual use of computers and the Internet, their perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of AR, their experiences in using AR, and their reflective reports of self-efficacy in using AR in creating English vocabulary flashcards as supplemental learning resources. A questionnaire on their use of computers and the Internet was employed with 48 EFL, English-major undergraduates. Subsequently, the participants underwent the Classroom Activity Treatment which comprised 1) the Teacher Showcase, 2) the AR Computer Tutorial, and 3) the Student Showcase, respectively. Classroom observation notes were taken during the three phases. Besides, at the end of each of these three phases, a questionnaire on the acceptance and self-efficacy of AR was administered. Subsequently, 24 students participated in semi-structured interviews to elicit further insights into their perceptions of the effectiveness of AR in EFL instruction and learning. The Technology Acceptance Model 3 (Vankatesh & Bala, 2008) was employed for theoretical perspective on the data. Findings revealed most participants had no prior knowledge or understanding about AR before the study. Participants reported AR as advantageous for stimulating student engagement and motivation, and for enhancing memory and memorization. AR was reported to promote learning and practicing digital literacy skills. Participants reported relatively high levels of self-efficacy in using AR, which were primarily driven by their self-satisfaction, creativity and enthusiasm, peer and teacher assistance, as well as technological training and infrastructure. Participants also reported that they would continue using AR in the future when necessary resources, time, and access were secured, for the purposes of professional productivity and development. Analysis suggested that English education curricula be improved and re-designed to integrate the implementation of AR technology to tailor the learning experiences to the students’ needs and learning styles. Professional development and training should also be provided for teachers and students to educate them in using AR in language education teaching and learning.
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