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Effects of a BCI-Based AR Inquiring Tool on Primary Students’ Science Learning: A Quasi-Experimental Field Study

Abstract

This study aims to explore the impact of an augmented reality (AR) scientific inquiry tool based on a brain-computer interface (BCI) on students’ scientific performance, flow experience, self-efficacy, and cognitive load of primary school students. The BCI-based AR inquiring tool provides real-time attention feedback to students’ activities in an AR science learning environment. Before the formal experiment, a pilot study was conducted to prove that the attention estimation algorithm involved in the tool is effective and the AR learning environment based on the BCI technology is feasible. In the formal study, quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed. A total of 41 primary school students were randomly assigned to the experimental group (EG) or the control group (CG) to learn the lever principle. The students of EG used the BCI-based AR inquiring tool, and the CG used simple AR inquiring tools without real-time attention feedback. Results show that the BCI-based AR inquiring tool positively impacts students’ scientific inquiry. It significantly helps students improve their science learning performance, achieve mental flow, and promote their scientific inquiry participation self-efficacy. Besides, no significant effect on cognitive load was found. The interview results indicate that students have a positive attitude toward the BCI-based AR scientific inquiry tool.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.

Notes

  1. https://choosemuse.com/muse-2/

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Funding

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61977007).

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Su Cai, Zifeng Liu, and Changhao Liu. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Zifeng Liu, Haitao Zhou, and Jiangxu Li, and all authors revised and commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Su Cai.

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Cai, S., Liu, Z., Liu, C. et al. Effects of a BCI-Based AR Inquiring Tool on Primary Students’ Science Learning: A Quasi-Experimental Field Study. J Sci Educ Technol (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-022-09991-y

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Keywords

  • Augmented reality
  • Brain-computer interface
  • Attention feedback
  • Scientific inquiry