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

Virtual Reality (VR) is an emerging technology currently showing beneficial results for training in many fields. Though educators are beginning to use VR in in their curricula, support of formal research on the subject appears to be limited.  The research team will gain insights into an important new technological aide for educational instruction and learning, encouraging supportive, innovative instruction based on pedagogical foundations. 

Presentation Date: 
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Event or Conference: 
AECT International Conference
Presentation Location: 
United States
New virtual reality (VR) applications for education frequently appear in the market but rarely contain explicit pedagogies. Educational leaders need the pedagogies to support teaching and learning strategies and optimize student learning. A theoretical model (Kebritchi & Hirumi, 2008) aided in analyzing visual and text based content and distinguishing unstated pedagogies in VR applications. The research question was: What principles and practices of pedagogy are evident but not articulated in selected VR applications for education? A total of 35 VR applications met the selection criteria. Analysis of public content for the VR applications showed most were experiential while others categorized as discovery learning, constructivism, situated cognition, direct instruction or unclassified approaches. Elements of primary and secondary pedagogies were found in some applications. Educators and VR designers could use explicit pedagogical frameworks to support facultydevelopment, construct extended and congruent curricular options that stimulate reflections, build insights, and insure innovative and measurable outcomes.