Using virtual reality in the classroom: preservice teachers' perceptions of its use as a teaching and learning tool
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Virtual reality (VR) platforms act as a potentially transformative tool in learning and teaching. The aim of this study was to examine pre-service teachers’ (PST) perceptions about VR, inclusive of their beliefs about its capacity to be used as a teaching and learning tool. A case-study, conducted at an urban university in Australia involved a sample of n = 41. Participants’ positive perceptions of VR in their teaching relate to its potential to engage learners, the immersive potential of the platform and the scope of VR to offer students experiences they might otherwise not have with other learning tools. Concerns expressed by PSTs include their relatively low self-efficacy to use VR in their teaching, monitoring-related matters, financial cost and implementing the technology in a safe and supportive way. There was a significant difference in PSTs’ amount of self-efficacy to teach using VR when compared to their overall confidence to use digital technologies. PSTs typically had greater awareness of the immersive and engagement potential of VR and less awareness about its potential to foster and promote collaborative learning. This paper contributes to an emerging discourse regarding the possible applications of VR in educational environments and particularly in relation teacher-educator contexts.
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