Augmented reality in special education: a meta-analysis of single-subject design studies

Reem Sulaiman Baragash, Hosam Al-Samarraie, Ahmed Ibrahim Alzahrani, Osama Alfarraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
315 Downloads (Pure)


There is a growing interest in using augmented reality (AR) applications to support individuals with special needs, such as intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and physical disabilities. The purpose of this study is to further examine the effectiveness of AR applications in improving the learning and skill acquisition of individuals with special needs. Following the PRISMA guidelines, a meta-analysis of the overall effectiveness of AR on individuals with different disabilities in single-subject studies was conducted. Sixteen single-subject studies on a more restricted subset of special educational needs types that matched the eligibility criteria were considered to explore the effect of AR on the acquisition of four types of skills: (a) social, (b) living, (c) learning, and (4) physical. The results showed that the AR applications had a large effect across the 16 single-subject studies. The effect of AR was the largest in promoting an individual’s learning skills, followed by social skills, physical skills, and living skills. This study offers an important insight into the relative success of AR in promoting academic and functional living skills to individuals with special needs. It also offers research-based guidance to decision-makers for supporting adolescents with special needs, such as autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-397
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
Issue number3
Early online date20 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Special Needs Education on 20/12/2019, available online:

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • improving classroom teaching
  • mobile learning
  • special needs education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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