Since half of the century, technology has dominated the modern era. The rapid advancement of technology has reached generating artificial intelligence and artificial realities. So, virtual reality is an emerging technology and is applicable in education as well. Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation, where people can interact within an artificial environment. Moreover, in an educational setting, such an environment provides students with a chance to get experiential learning. This paper has a systematic literature review on emerging technologies, such as virtual reality as a pedagogical tool for enhancing students’ experiential learning. This review aims to explore and understand the effect of virtual reality on students’ experiential learning by reviewing twenty-six selected articles. The selected studies have followed various methodologies and are from different contexts. This review study aims to present a systematic literature review for understanding and exploring the effect of virtual reality as a pedagogical tool for enhancing students’ experiential learning. Nine themes were identified, which are (a) virtual reality as pedagogical tool, (b) virtual reality as emerging educational technology tool, (c) virtual reality as digital transformation, (d) virtual reality as teaching-learning model, (e) virtual reality as architectural pedagogy, (f) virtual reality for communication skills, (g) virtual reality for reading and writing skills, (h) virtual reality for social learning, and (i) virtual reality for experiential learning. Thus, it is found that virtual reality is used as a pedagogical tool for various subject areas for encouraging involvement. It is helpful in medical, engineering, language, and social learning, as it provides a chance to get first-hand experience of the environment. Also, it helps learners to engage in a presented virtual environment and experience the sense of presence in it and enhances students’ experiential learning. Therefore, this review found virtual reality as an essential pedagogical tool for strengthening students’ experiential learning.
This review study aims to present the literature review about virtual reality as a pedagogical tool for enhancing students’ experiential learning. This study has intended to cover the brief description of the concept of virtual reality in general and specifically virtual reality as a tool of pedagogy which is one of the applications of virtual reality. This paper has presented a review of twenty-six research papers on virtual reality. The term virtual is used frequently in today’s world, which directs the listener’s attention towards technology or computer-based program. Virtual refers to imaginative sort of objects and activities which are not performed or observed on physical grounds. However, this term of virtual reality was initially introduced in the 1980s to declare the power of technology to develop an artificial world. Nevertheless, people’s attention in recent times goes directly towards cyberspace after listening to the term virtual reality. This association of virtuality to technology has taken time, and the field is now known to most people worldwide.
In educational settings, school level students do not get enough access to computers and the Internet. Furthermore, if some students access computers and technology, they could not get proper teacher support to learn technological skills. Thus, while reaching to university level, their technological skills are found to be poor. After becoming part of a university, those same students get access to proper teacher support and tasks to be completed on computers. Still, advanced technologies are not used commonly. However, the application of virtual reality helps enhance experiential learning among students. Also, helping students experience the world virtually is an effective and efficient way to practice in educational settings.
The school setting does not support even essential technological integration. However, higher education institutions are continuously trying to bring innovation in the teaching-learning process and technological advancement in education settings; additionally, some institutions also offer virtual learning environments for their students. Nevertheless, the implementation of virtual reality is rarely observed. Although students learn about virtual reality and its applications, they could not get a chance to experience it in most cases. However, some get the experience of the virtual environment. This systematic literature review purports to provide insights about virtual reality and its usability for enhancing experiential learning. With the help of this systematic literature review, empirical findings will be presented to reveal the practicality and usability of virtuality in an educational context. Also, some pedagogical dimensions of virtual reality will be presented to help educators in implementing it.
Moreover, the enhancement of experiences and experiential learning among students can be promoted if teachers learn the pedagogical dimension. Thus, this study aims to present a systematic review of studies to provide an insight about experiential learning to be enhanced by practicing virtual reality as a pedagogical tool. This review of empirical studies will help in understanding the effects of virtual reality. This is one of the unique literature reviews of its nature, highlighting the significant gaps in knowledge, methodology, and implementation challenges educators face to integrate the virtual reality (VR) approach for the teaching and learning process.
2.1. Process of Study and Literature Search
Peer-reviewed journal papers that met all of the inclusion requirements were part of a presented systematic review. An initial scoping analysis established seven databases, related keywords, and search terms that could be integrated into a systematic literature review. For literature searching, the simple process of using keywords was used. As the study entitles virtual reality as a pedagogical tool for enhancing experiential learning, searching terms and keywords such as virtual reality, virtual reality as a pedagogical tool, experiential learning, and virtual reality for experiential learning were searched from Google, Google Scholar, Sage, Emerald, Elsevier, Eric, and Taylor and Francis databases. Through this search, almost 67 articles were found, out of which 26 most relevant articles were selected for this review.
2.2. Selection Process and Inclusion Criteria
After the search results, there were 67 articles, and the chosen articles were 26. Those 26 articles were chosen based on the relevant themes of virtual reality as a pedagogical tool and virtual reality for enhancing experiential learning. Also, based on the year of study from 2009 to 2020, the articles from famous and authentic publishers were selected, but conference papers, thesis, and reports were not included. Then, those articles were sorted based on the topic and relevant themes (Table 1).
Virtual reality as pedagogical tool
Virtual reality as emerging educational technology tool
Virtual reality as digital transformation
Virtual reality as teaching-learning model
Virtual reality as architectural pedagogy
Virtual reality for communication skills
Virtual reality for reading and writing skills
Virtual reality for social learning
Virtual reality for experiential learning