Exploring pedagogical foundations of existing virtual reality (VR) educational applications: A content analysis study

The goal was to use a directed content analysis design to clarify the pedagogical foundations of 35 virtual reality (VR) educational applications where pedagogies were unstated. A second goal was to test the organizational pedagogical schemata developed by Kebritchi and Hirumi (2008) as the initial set of categories that could aid in analyzing content from various public sources and distinguishing educational pedagogies in VR applications. This paper has the intention of building on existing literature related to pedagogical foundations of Virtual Reality educational applications.


New virtual reality (VR) applications for education appear frequently in the marketplace but rarely contain explicit pedagogies. The research objective of this study was to identify and categorize principles and practices of pedagogy that are evident but not articulated in selected VR applications for education. Analysis of public content for the VR applications showed most were experiential while others were categorized as discovery learning, constructivism, situated cognition, direct instruction, or unclassified approaches. Educators and VR designers could use explicit pedagogical frameworks to support faculty development, construct extended, and congruent curricular options that stimulate reflections, build insights, and insure innovative and measurable outcomes.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Co-Principal Investigator
Elizabeth Johnston
Patricia Steele
Liston Bailey
Cassandra Smith
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Journal of Educational Technology Systems
DEC 2017
Peer Review Research
SAGE Journals
Date Published: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Place Published: 
SAGE Journals Online
Publication Language: 
ISSN Number: 
ISSN: 0047-2395 Online ISSN: 1541-3810
ISBN Number: 
Unknown at this time.
Accession Number: 
Unknown at this time.
Call Number: 
Unknown at this time.
Dr. Thomas Liao, Editor in Chief
Boyer's Domain: 
Associated Awards: 
Unknown at this time



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