Association for Educational Communications and Technology
Friday, November 10, 2017
Event or Conference:
AECT International Convention
225 E Coastline Dr
Jacksonville, FL 32202United States
The value of virtual reality (VR) is clear as related to learning difficult, tedious, or dangerous tasks (Janssen, Tummel, Richert, & Isenhardt, 2016). VR educational experiences could provide an interactive learning opportunity that allows learning in an explorative, practice-based, and visually rich environment that allows for more engagement, accelerated learning, increased learner attention, lowers overall educational costs, can support challenged learners, works well to bypass language literacy and improves retention. Gaining critical thinking skills is possible with VR educational applications using student centered learning and collaboration. VR learners could increase theoretical understanding through experience, visualize complex models, and immerse in an engaging learning environment (Friena & Mott, 2015; Chang, 2016). To take fullest advantage of VR, educational leaders need to understand the pedagogical aspects of VR applications to distinguish and support different strategies and optimize learning for students.
In this study, a theoretical model (Kebritchi & Hirumi, 2008) aided in analyzing visual and text based content and distinguishing educational pedagogies in virtual reality (VR) educational applications. A total of 35 VR educational applications met the selection criteria. Educational leaders need to understand the pedagogical aspects of VR applications to distinguish and support different strategies and optimize learning for students. The research question was: What principles and practices of pedagogy are evident but not articulated in selected VR applications for education? An analysis of public content for VR applications for education showed most were experiential while others categorized as discovery learning, constructivism, situated cognition, direct instruction, or unclassified approaches. Research findings will support efforts to use innovative and measurable outcome based learning applications within an educational context. Additionally, creators of VR educational applications will gain an understanding of the need for a clear association between curriculum being taught and pedagogical foundations.