There is little doubt that motivation influences the extent to which individuals engage with online learning experiences. With the increasing role of digital technologies within chemistry higher education, this study illustrates how an augmented reality (AR)-supported educational escape activity (EEA), based on topics of inorganic stereochemistry, can be employed within an online environment. The design aspects of our activity were guided by principles of Self-Determination Theory (SDT)─an intrinsic-extrinsic theory of motivation. We sought to actively support the fundamental needs of competency, autonomy, and relatedness. Our control group was provided with a copy of our EEA that utilized two-dimensional drawings. Reported measures of competency were seen as a positive predictor of intrinsic motivation. However, in this study, this was not observed to be a positive predictor of academic performance. The introduction of AR, over and above the EEA, did not result in any significant differences in reported intrinsic motivation or post-test scores on our stereochemistry test instrument. Collected qualitative data suggest that participants found the activity to be useful and engaging. Through students’ discussions, we have provided evidence of how design aspects of the EEA support the psychological needs satisfaction outlined by SDT. The design of our EEA provides one approach to implementing this style of learning activity, in a way that supports virtual presence and is scalable to large student cohorts.