The 146 participants were 11- to 13-year-old Finnish pupils visiting a science centre exhibition. The data, which consisted of both cognitive tasks and self-report questionnaires, were collected using a pre- post-test design and were analysed by SEM path-analysis. The results showed that AR-technology experience was beneficial for all, but especially for the lowest-achieving group and for the girls. In general, pre-knowledge skills predicted post-knowledge test results. As expected, school achievement had an effect on pre-knowledge results. In addition, motivation turned out to be an alternative key route for learning. Being a boy predicted directly or indirectly all other motivational variables, enjoyment and interest, but girls had a higher relative autonomy experience (RAI). Situation motivation and attitude towards learning in the science exhibition were much more strongly inter-connected among boys than girls, and attitude predicted post-knowledge only for boys. AR seems to be a promising method by which to learn abstract phenomena using a concrete manner.
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