Publication Abstract

Virtual Reality for Education and Workforce Training

Carruth, D. W. (2017). Virtual Reality for Education and Workforce Training. 15th International Conference on Emerging eLearning Technologies and Applications (ICETA). Stary Smokovec, Slovakia: IEEE. DOI:10.1109/ICETA.2017.8102472.


The advent of inexpensive consumer virtual reality display technology has made new possibilities for delivering education and training in immersive and engaging ways widely available. In the past, technical challenges and prohibitive cost have impeded progress of virtual reality in education. Educational institutions and industries are now moving rapidly to adopt virtual reality as a key training tool. Virtual learning environments have been very successful in generating positive learning outcomes in a variety of domains. The powerful sense of presence and effective immersion created by virtual reality applications promise to provide on-site training in a safe and controlled environment. Virtual learning environments can provide trainees with access to cost-prohibitive equipment in impossible locations. It can provide a space for students to explore problem spaces and test solutions without risk. Despite these successes, questions remain regarding the capabilities and limitations of current technology, particularly regarding the effectiveness of knowledge and skill acquisition in virtual reality. The process for developing effective educational training virtual environments begins with understanding the learning objectives, re-creation of the real-world task(s), and assessing user performance and learning. Each stage of the process presents unique challenges and opportunities.