Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Special Education, Early Childhood & Prevention Science

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

Committee Chair

Cooper, Jason

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Courtade, Ginevra

Committee Member

Courtade, Ginevra

Committee Member

Finch, John

Committee Member

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Chang, Dar-Jen

Author's Keywords

Immersive virtual reality; education; preservice teachers


Immersive virtual reality (IVR) is a rapidly advancing technology utilized across varying education fields for learning and educational applications. IVR provides the capabilities of computer simulations and embodied cognition experiences through a hands-on activity, making it a natural step to improve learning. Creating educational applications in IVR for use with students and preservice teachers could be a laborious and costly endeavor and require teacher belief in its effectiveness, so research is essential to investigate whether these applications are useful in advancing prekindergarten through Grade 12 (P-12) student learning. Research in this field is new, limited, and practically void of its use in P-12 learning environments. This inquiry expanded upon the literature on IVR technology in education and preservice teacher use of technology. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of IVR technology on preservice teachers through an experience focused on the American Civil Rights Movement, specifically on knowledge attainment, lesson planning effectiveness, and motivation for future use in their instructional practice. Participants were 21 elementary preservice teachers in a diverse metropolitan university. Results indicated participants in the IVR group significantly increased scores on a content test, reported engagement with the experience, and indicated likelihood to use IVR with their future students.