Using augmented reality to enhance learning and understanding of abstract programming concepts

Omer Emin Cinar*, Karen Rafferty, David Cutting, Hui Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents the implementation of an Augmented Reality (AR) application in order to enhance the understanding of Python collection data types. AR is a technology which has gained popularity in recent years. This technology has the potential of completely transforming how we learn, work and think. In this context, the importance of this technology has increased visibly in terms of engineering education. One of the challenges encountered is that students often struggle with abstract programming concepts and find programming hard to conceptualise. More specifically, first-year electrical and electronic engineering students may have difficulty in understanding and learning Python collection data types (List, Tuple and Dictionary) and their main differences. AR is one of the solutions to solve this problem. An AR application has been implemented by making this software concept more visible and easier to comprehend through AR and 3D visualisation. A user study was defined in which two groups were respectively provided the AR application and the same information contained in a printed booklet. Comprehension tests on the subject before and after they used the learning resource were used to gauge how effective each intervention was. The t-test method was used to analyse the user study results. It was concluded that using the AR application (post-test score mean: 8.8) rather than reading the booklet (post-test score mean: 7.5) resulted in a higher test score mean.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2023 9th International Conference on Virtual Reality (ICVR)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9798350345810
ISBN (Print)9798350345827
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Virtual Reality (ICVR)
ISSN (Print)2331-9542
ISSN (Electronic)2331-9569


  • 3D
  • Augmented Reality
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Programming
  • Python
  • Visualisation

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