Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Sarah J. Noonan, Chien-Tzu Candace Chou, Jayne K. Sommers



The prominence of virtual reality (VR) in the educational field has grown in recent years due to increased availability and lower costs. I conducted a global study regarding how pioneering K-12 teachers use VR to engage students in learning activities. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify how and why teachers used VR for student learning. Fifteen educators from five continents participated in the study. They described their initial VR experiences and how these experiences motivated them to pursue ways to implement VR in their disciplinary fields. I used the video conference tool “Zoom” to conduct interviews. Participants described the “spark” of discovery and recognition of VR for learning. They explained measures to obtain permission, approaches to funding, and the implementation process. Participants developed structures for student learning, transformed physical spaces, and invented pedagogies to ensure positive learning experiences. Participants provided optimal immersive experiences by repurposing content and adopting other applications to achieve learning goals. Three levels of incorporating VR for student learning were identified, including: (1) exploration; (2) acquiring and applying disciplinary knowledge; and (3) content creation and interactive problem solving. The quality of headsets dictated the level(s) of implementation. Dewey’s (1923) experiential learning theories as well as the Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge framework (TPACK; Mishra & Koehler, 2006) helped to interpret data. Successful implementation requires collaboration and pedagogical modifications and administrative support. This study highlights the successful methods and practices for others considering the implementation of VR for K-12 student learning.

Keywords: TPACK, Dewey, Virtual Reality (VR), Innovation, Experiential Learning


TPACK, Dewey, Virtual Reality (VR), Innovation, Experiential Learning

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This file may be slow to open due to its size. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Education Commons