A Systematic Literature Review of Augmented Reality in Engineering Education : Hardware, Software, Student Motivation & Development Recommendations.





Augmented Reality, Engineering Education, PRISMA, Student Motivation, Development recommendations


Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that has benefited from the massification of computational devices, putting it in the focus of researchers as a novel teaching aid in engineering. For this very reason, a great amount of information about AR in engineering education is emerging constantly. To synthesize the information, a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was carried out and 4 research questions were raised. It was found out the researcher´s trend for the development and testing of software that takes advantage of AR for engineering students. It was also found that Germany and India are the leading nations on investigations about the investigated topic. On the software side, Unity is the most used tool for creating applications and that the target hardware is smartphone. Finally, the high interest of researchers to increase motivation in students is evidenced in this SLR and recommendations were made based on the researcher’s findings.

Author Biography

Mauricio Vásquez-Carbonell, Universidad de la Costa CUC

Professor - Dpto Ciencias de la Computación y Electrónica


Akçayır, s M., & Akçayır, G. (2017). Advantages and challenges associated with augmented reality for education: A systematic review of the literature. Educational Research Review, 20, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2016.11.002

Al Akil, D., Ahmed, V., & Saboor, S. (2020). The Utilization of Augmented Reality Technologies within the Engineering Curricula - Opportunities and Challenges. 2020 IFEES World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council, WEEF-GEDC 2020, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1109/WEEF-GEDC49885.2020.9293626

Alvarez-Marin, A., Velazquez-Iturbide, J. A., & Castillo-Vergara, M. (2020). Intention to use an interactive AR app for engineering education. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2020 (pp. 70–73). https://doi.org/10.1109/ISMAR-Adjunct51615.2020.00033

Anastassova, M., Burkhardt, J. M., Mégard, G., & Ehanno, P. (2007). Ergonomics of augmented reality for learning: A review. Travail Humain, 70(2), 97–125. https://doi.org/10.3917/th.702.0097

Antonioli, M., Blake, C., & Sparks, K. (2014). Augmented Reality Applications in Education. The Journal of Technology Studies, 40(2). https://doi.org/10.21061/jots.v40i2.a.4

Azuma, R. T. (1997). A survey of augmented reality. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 6(4), 355–385. https://doi.org/10.1561/1100000049

Babak, N. G., & Kryukov, A. F. (2018). Mobile Application for Visualization of the Advertising Booklet Using Augmented Reality. 2018 4th International Conference on Information Technologies in Engineering Education, Inforino 2018 - Proceedings, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1109/INFORINO.2018.8581841

Bakkiyaraj, M., Kavitha, G., Sai Krishnan, G., & Kumar, S. (2020). Impact of Augmented Reality on learning Fused Deposition Modeling based 3D printing Augmented Reality for skill development. In Materials Today: Proceedings (Vol. 43, pp. 2464–2471). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2021.02.664

Beck, D. (2019). Special Issue: Augmented and Virtual Reality in Education: Immersive Learning Research. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 57(7), 1619–1625. https://doi.org/10.1177/0735633119854035

Billinghurst, M., & Dünser, A. (2012). Augmented reality in the classroom. Computer, 45(7), 56–63. https://doi.org/10.1109/MC.2012.111

Blender. (2021). Blender. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://docs.blender.org/manual/es/2.82/getting_started/about/introduction.html

Bologna, J. K., Garcia, C. A., Ortiz, A., Ayala, P. X., & Garcia, M. V. (2020). An augmented reality platform for training in the industrial context. In IFAC-PapersOnLine (Vol. 53, pp. 197–202). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ifacol.2020.11.032

Bourguet, M. L., Wang, X., Ran, Y., Zhou, Z., Zhang, Y., & Romero-Gonzalez, M. (2020). Virtual and augmented reality for teaching materials science: A students as partners and as producers project. In Proceedings of 2020 IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering, TALE 2020 (pp. 452–459). https://doi.org/10.1109/TALE48869.2020.9368381

Buchner, J., Buntins, K., & Kerres, M. (2021). A systematic map of research characteristics in studies on augmented reality and cognitive load. Computers and Education Open, 2(April), 100036. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeo.2021.100036

Cadavieco, J. F., Goulão, M. de F., & Costales, A. F. (2012). Using Augmented Reality and m-Learning to Optimize Students Performance in Higher Education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 2970–2977. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.05.599

Canal, F. Z., Müller, T. R., Matias, J. C., Scotton, G. G., de Sa Junior, A. R., Pozzebon, E., & Sobieranski, A. C. (2022). A survey on facial emotion recognition techniques: A state-of-the-art literature review. Information Sciences, 582, 593–617. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ins.2021.10.005

Chen, Y. C. (2006). A study of comparing the use of augmented reality and physical models in chemistry education. Proceedings - VRCIA 2006: ACM International Conference on Virtual Reality Continuum and Its Applications, 1(June), 369–372. https://doi.org/10.1145/1128923.1128990

Chu, E., & Zaman, L. (2021). Exploring alternatives with Unreal Engine’s Blueprints Visual Scripting System. Entertainment Computing, 36(February 2020), 100388. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcom.2020.100388

Danaei, D., Jamali, H. R., Mansourian, Y., & Rastegarpour, H. (2020). Comparing reading comprehension between children reading augmented reality and print storybooks. Computers and Education, 153(October 2019), 103900. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103900

Del Bosque, L., Martinez, R., & Torres, J. L. (2015). Decreasing Failure in Programming Subject with Augmented Reality Tool. Procedia Computer Science, 75(Vare), 221–225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2015.12.241

Di Serio, Á., Ibáñez, M. B., & Kloos, C. D. (2013). Impact of an augmented reality system on students’ motivation for a visual art course. Computers and Education, 68, 586–596. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.03.002

Fourman, M. S., Ghaednia, H., Lans, A., Lloyd, S., Sweeney, A., Detels, K., … Schwab, J. H. (2021). Applications of augmented and virtual reality in spine surgery and education: A review. Seminars in Spine Surgery, 33(2), 100875. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.semss.2021.100875

Fuchs, H., Bishop, G., Bricken, W., Brooks, F., Brown, M., Burbeck, C., … Wenzel, E. (1992). Research Directions in Virtual Environments. NSF Invitational Workshop. Chapel Hill. https://doi.org/10.1145/142413.142416

Garzón, J., & Acevedo, J. (2019). Meta-analysis of the impact of Augmented Reality on students ’ learning gains. Educational Research Review, 27(March), 244–260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2019.04.001

Gough, D., Oliver, S., & Thomas, J. (2012). An introduction to systematic reviews. SAGE Publications Ltd. SAGE Publications Ltd. Retrieved from https://b-ok.asia/book/2718381/a08a63

Grodotzki, J., Ortelt, T. R., & Tekkaya, A. E. (2018). Remote and Virtual Labs for Engineering Education 4.0: Achievements of the ELLI project at the TU Dortmund University. Procedia Manufacturing, 26, 1349–1360. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2018.07.126

Grodotzki, J., Upadhya, S., & Tekkaya, A. E. (2021). Engineering education amid a global pandemic. Advances in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, 3, 100058. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aime.2021.100058

Heilig, M. L. (1992). EL Cine del Futuro: The Cinema of the Future. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 1(3), 279–294.

Hincapie, M., Diaz, C., Valencia, A., Contero, M., & Güemes-Castorena, D. (2021). Educational applications of augmented reality: A bibliometric study. Computers and Electrical Engineering, 93(January), 107289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compeleceng.2021.107289

Ibáñez, M. B., Uriarte Portillo, A., Zatarain Cabada, R., & Barrón, M. L. (2020). Impact of augmented reality technology on academic achievement and motivation of students from public and private Mexican schools. A case study in a middle-school geometry course. Computers and Education, 145(May 2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103734

Jacob, S., Warde, M., & Dumane, P. (2020). Impact of augmented reality as an ICT tool to deliver engineering education content. In 2020 International Conference on Convergence to Digital World - Quo Vadis, ICCDW 2020. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCDW45521.2020.9318709

Karakus, M., Ersozlu, A., & Clark, A. C. (2019). Augmented reality research in education: A bibliometric study. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 15(10). https://doi.org/10.29333/ejmste/103904

Kaur, D. P., Mantri, A., & Horan, B. (2020). Enhancing student motivation with use of augmented reality for interactive learning in engineering education. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 172, pp. 881–885). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2020.05.127

Khan, T., Johnston, K., & Ophoff, J. (2019). The Impact of an Augmented Reality Application on Learning Motivation of Students. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7208494

Khronos. (2021). OpenGL. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.khronos.org/opengl/wiki/FAQ#What_is_OpenGL.3F

Kim, S. L., Suk, H. J., Kang, J. H., Jung, J. M., Laine, T. H., & Westlin, J. (2014). Using Unity 3D to facilitate mobile augmented reality game development. 2014 IEEE World Forum on Internet of Things, WF-IoT 2014, 21–26. https://doi.org/10.1109/WF-IoT.2014.6803110

Klimova, A., Bilyatdinova, A., & Karsakov, A. (2018). Existing Teaching Practices in Augmented Reality. Procedia Computer Science, 136, 5–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2018.08.232

Knierim, P., Kiss, F., & Schmidt, A. (2018). Look Inside: Understanding Thermal Flux through Augmented Reality. In Adjunct Proceedings - 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2018 (pp. 170–171). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISMAR-Adjunct.2018.00059

Lee, K. (2012). Augmented Reality in Education and Training. TechTrends, 56(2), 13–21. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-012-0559-3

Liberati, A., Altman, D. G., Tetzlaff, J., Mulrow, C., Gøtzsche, P. C., Ioannidis, J. P. A., … Moher, D. (2009). The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. Journal of clinical epidemiology (Vol. 62). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.06.006

Lin, H. K., Hsieh, M., Wang, C., Sie, Z., & Chang, S. (2011). Establishment and Usability Evaluation of an Interactive Ar. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(4), 181–187.

Liono, R. A., Amanda, N., Pratiwi, A., & Gunawan, A. A. S. (2021). A Systematic Literature Review: Learning with Visual by the Help of Augmented Reality Helps Students Learn Better. Procedia Computer Science, 179, 144–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2020.12.019

Liu, F., Huo, H., Lei, C., Li, C., Wang, G., & Pan, X. (2019). Teaching Assistant System of Lathe Turning Training Based on Mobile Augmented Reality. In Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE 11th International Conference on Engineering Education, ICEED 2019 (pp. 6–10). https://doi.org/10.1109/ICEED47294.2019.8994938

Liu, J. (2021). Unity 3D animation modeling based on machine vision and embedded system. Microprocessors and Microsystems, 82(January), 103934. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micpro.2021.103934

Liu, P., Lu, L., Liu, S., Xie, M., Zhang, J., Huo, T., … Ye, Z. (2021). Mixed reality assists the fight against COVID-19. Intelligent Medicine, 1(1), 16–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imed.2021.05.002

MathWorks. (2021). Matlab & Simulink. Retrieved October 9, 2021, from https://la.mathworks.com/products/matlab.html

Matoseiro Dinis, F., Guimaraes, A. S., Rangel Carvalho, B., & Pocas Martins, J. P. (2017). Virtual and Augmented Reality game-based applications to Civil Engineering Education. In 2017 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON) (pp. 1683–1688).

Microsoft. (2021). Microsoft Visual Studio. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs/getting-started/

Milgram, P., Takemura, H., Utsumi, A., & Kishino, F. (1994). Mixed Reality (MR) Reality-Virtuality (RV) Continuum. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 2351(Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies), 282–292. https://doi.org/

Milgram, Paul, & Kishino, F. (1994). A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays. IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems, E77-D(12), 1–15.

Mizutani, W. K., K. Daros, V., & Kon, F. (2021). Software architecture for digital game mechanics: A systematic literature review. Entertainment Computing, 38(February), 100421. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcom.2021.100421

MMA. (2021). CalcPlot3D. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://c3d.libretexts.org/CalcPlot3D/CalcPlot3D-Help/chapter-overview.html

Moro, C., Smith, J., & Finch, E. (2021). Improving stroke education with augmented reality: A randomized control trial. Computers and Education Open, 2(July 2020), 100032. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeo.2021.100032

Mylonas, G., Triantafyllis, C., & Amaxilatis, D. (2019). An Augmented Reality Prototype for supporting IoT-based Educational Activities for Energy-efficient School Buildings. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, 343, 89–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcs.2019.04.012

NI. (2021). LabView. Retrieved October 9, 2021, from https://www.ni.com/es-co/support/downloads/software-products/download.labview.html#411240

Opriş, I., Costinaş, S., Ionescu, C. S., & Gogoaşe Nistoran, D. E. (2018). Step-by-step augmented reality in power engineering education. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 26(5), 1590–1602. https://doi.org/10.1002/cae.21969

Poyasok, T., Chenchevoi, V., Bespartochna, O., & Chencheva, O. (2020). Application of the Augmented Reality Technology to Training Future Electrical Engineers. In Proceedings of the 25th IEEE International Conference on Problems of Automated Electric Drive. Theory and Practice, PAEP 2020. https://doi.org/10.1109/PAEP49887.2020.9240788

Prendes Espinosa, C. (2014). Realidad aumentada y educación: análisis de experiencias prácticas. Píxel-Bit, Revista de Medios y Educación, 46(46), 187–203. https://doi.org/10.12795/pixelbit.2015.i46.12

PTC. (2021). Vuforia. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://library.vuforia.com/environments/vuforia-fusion

Python. (2021). Python. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide/Overview

Radu, I. (2014). Augmented reality in education: A meta-review and cross-media analysis. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 18(6), 1533–1543. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00779-013-0747-y

Reis, G., Yilmaz, M., Rambach, J., Pagani, A., Suarez-Ibarrola, R., Miernik, A., … Minaskan, N. (2021). Mixed reality applications in urology: Requirements and future potential. Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 66(April), 102394. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amsu.2021.102394

Reyes-Aviles, F., & Aviles-Cruz, C. (2018). Handheld augmented reality system for resistive electric circuits understanding for undergraduate students. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 26(3), 602–616. https://doi.org/10.1002/cae.21912

Sanchez-Vives, M. V., & Slater, M. (2005). From presence to consciousness through virtual reality. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6(4), 332–339. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn1651

Scaravetti, D., & Doroszewski, D. (2019). Augmented reality experiment in higher education, for complex system appropriation in mechanical design. In Procedia CIRP (Vol. 84, pp. 197–202). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2019.04.284

Shiba, Y., & Imai, S. (2020). Development of engineering educational support system for manufacturing using Augmented Reality. In International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems, ICAMechS (Vol. 2020-Decem, pp. 198–202). https://doi.org/10.1109/ICAMechS49982.2020.9310166

Slater, M. (2009). Place illusion and plausibility can lead to realistic behaviour in immersive virtual environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1535), 3549–3557. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2009.0138

Solmaz, S., Dominguez Alfaro, J. L., Santos, P., Van Puyvelde, P., & Van Gerven, T. (2021). A practical development of engineering simulation-assisted educational AR environments. Education for Chemical Engineers, 35, 81–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ece.2021.01.007

Soltani, P., & Morice, A. H. P. (2020). Augmented reality tools for sports education and training. Computers and Education, 155(May), 103923. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103923

Sutherland, I. E. (1965). The Ultimate Display. In Proceedings of IFIP Congress (pp. 506–508). Munich, Germany. https://doi.org/10.1109/MC.2005.274

Sutherland, I. E. (1968). A head-mounted three dimensional display. Proceedings of the December 9-11, 1968, Fall Joint Computer Conference, Part I on - AFIPS ’68 (Fall, Part I), 757. https://doi.org/10.1145/1476589.1476686

Swaminathan, J., Rajabooshanam, A., & Lydia, S. (2020). Disruptive architectural technology in engineering education. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 172, pp. 641–648). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2020.05.083

Technologies, U. (2021). Unity. Retrieved October 9, 2021, from https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/index.html?_ga=2.55997678.439848683.1633828396-1915986312.1630886710

Tepper, O. M., Rudy, H. L., Lefkowitz, A., Weimer, K. A., Marks, S. M., Stern, C. S., & Garfein, E. S. (2017). Mixed reality with hololens: Where virtual reality meets augmented reality in the operating room. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 140(5), 1066–1070. https://doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000003802

Tober, M. (2011). PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus or Google Scholar - Which is the best search engine for an effective literature research in laser medicine? Medical Laser Application, 26(3), 139–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mla.2011.05.006

Unity Technologies. (2021). Aprendizaje a distancia para el desarrollo de juegos, animación 3D, VR y AR | Unity Education. Retrieved September 5, 2021, from https://unity.com/es/education/distance-learning

Urbano, D., & Restivo, T. (2018). Evaluation of experimental activities. In IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON (Vol. 2018-April, pp. 2061–2065). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/EDUCON.2018.8363492

Vásquez-Carbonell, M. (2021). A Systematic Literature Review of Educational Apps: What Are They Up To? Journal of Mobile Multimedia, 18, 251–274. https://doi.org/10.13052/jmm1550-4646.1825

Vásquez Carbonell, M. A., & Silva-Ortega, J. I. (2020). Tendencias y características de la realidad virtual. Computer and Electronic Sciences: Theory and Applications, 1(1), 36–70. https://doi.org/10.17981/cesta.01.01.2020.04

Wang, Y., Ong, S. K., & Nee, A. Y. C. (2018). Enhancing mechanisms education through interaction with augmented reality simulation. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 26(5), 1552–1564. https://doi.org/10.1002/cae.21951

Wei, H., Liu, Y., & Wang, Y. (2019). Building ar-based optical experiment applications in a VR course. In 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2019 - Proceedings (pp. 1225–1226). https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2019.8797799

Wolfram. (2021). Mathematica. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.wolfram.com/mathematica/?source=footer

Zhang, B., & Hu, W. (2017). Game special effect simulation based on particle system of Unity3D. Proceedings - 16th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Computer and Information Science, ICIS 2017, 595–598. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICIS.2017.7960062

Zhu, L., Cao, Q., & Cai, Y. (2020). Development of augmented reality serious games with a vibrotactile feedback jacket. Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware, 2(5), 454–470. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vrih.2020.05.005