Online Explorative Study on the Learning Uses of Virtual Reality Among Early Adopters

J Vis Exp. 2019 Nov 22;(153). doi: 10.3791/60188.

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) has shown great educational potential because it makes it possible to simulate any desired situation or event, thus playing an important role in addressing current educational challenges. Despite the unlimited learning possibilities that VR may offer, unless users are willing to apply virtual devices to education, the investment of time, money, and effort will be fruitless. It is therefore crucial to assess the educational interest of the first generation of VR users and to identify their current needs. To this end, in this study we designed an online questionnaire and applied it through the SaaS (Software as a service) of a private server. The sample consisted of 117 early VR adopters recruited via a main portal of communication and information technologies in Spain. In order to engage participants, we posted a thread in the main forum, which is dedicated to the advances and potential uses of VR. Once the responses were gathered, we analyzed the relationship between 12 variables (mean contrasts with Snedecor's F, and contingency analysis with chi-square and Sommer's d). The results showed that the current profile of a VR user is a male over 35 years old, with university studies, and who has purchased his viewer recently (<1 year). As for the learning and teaching applications that these users were interested in, only 13.7% of the participants in this study use VR for educational purposes, although 28.2% were interested, indicating that perhaps the lack of applications or learning experiences may be hampering the use of VR within education. Almost half of the early adopters surveyed would like to learn using VR technology and are somehow optimistic about the relationship between VR and education, particularly those who are younger.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Software
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Teaching
  • Virtual Reality*