Effects of an Augmented Reality Library Orientation on Anxiety and Self-Efficacy: An Exploratory Study

Samantha Kannegiser

Abstract

Academic libraries use scavenger hunt library orientations to engage students and teach them about the library. Libraries are also starting to use augmented reality (AR) technology in orientations, instruction, and programming. Some libraries have tried augmented reality scavenger hunts for freshman library orientations, but studies have not been done to compare the traditional and AR orientations. This exploratory, quasi-experimental study investigates if the AR library orientation impacts freshman undergraduates’ perceptions of the library as measured by students’ anxiety and confidence levels. Two groups of first-time, first-year undergraduate students participated in a library orientation in Summer 2019. One received the traditional scavenger hunt model, and another experienced an augmented reality version of the scavenger hunt. Both groups took a pre-orientation survey to determine their comfort with the libraries and librarians in general, and then a post-orientation questionnaire to determine any change in perception of libraries and librarians as well as their satisfaction with the orientation experience. By comparing pre- and post-survey results from both sets of students, this study determined that while both orientations had a positive impact on students’ perceptions of the library, the AR orientation had a significant impact on students’ perceptions of librarians’ desire to help them.

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