Designing VR Experiences – Expectations for Teaching and Learning in VR

Michael Holly*, Johanna Pirker, Sebastian Resch, Sandra Brettschuh, Christian Gütl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are increasingly in demand. Theoretical knowledge and formulas alone are frequently not sufficient to understand complex phenomena. Simulations are a valuable tool to support the conceptual understanding by visualizing invisible processes. The constant interaction with the learning material is an essential factor when learning with simulations and virtual worlds. Virtual reality (VR) technologies enable interaction with the virtual environment with a high intensity of immersion. Maroon is a VR platform for teaching physics and has been in development for over five years. Previous results with Maroon have already demonstrated the potential of virtual reality for learners and teachers, but also highlighted a list of potential challenges in terms of VR experience design, usability, and pedagogical concepts. Over the past six months, we have conducted user studies with a total of 85 participants, both student teachers (n = 26) and pupils (n = 59) at high schools and teacher training institutions. In this paper, we want to facilitate the difficult task of designing educational VR platforms by describing the expectations of educators and pupils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-119
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Technology & Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Immersive learning
  • Interactive simulations
  • STEM education
  • Virtual Reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Engineering(all)


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