Type Forum
License CC BY 4.0

Virtual reality in education: The promise, progress, and challenge


Virtual Reality (VR) has made significant inroads into both the consumer and professional sectors. As VR has matured as a technology, its overall practicality for use in education has also increased. However, due to the rapid evolution of the technology, the educational field struggles to stay informed of the latest advancements, changing affordances, and pedagogical applications. Even the authors’ own 2018 work that categorized VR technology for different educational applications, is no longer completely applicable to the current educational landscape. Though education struggles to keep up with technological developments, both researchers and practitioners have been contributing to a growing body of knowledge and experience. Accordingly, this article explores the progress of VR in educational research and classroom practice through three key questions: (1) What benefits does VR offer for education?, (2) What are the challenges to applying VR in an educational context?, and (3) Has VR matured to a point where it is useful for a wide range of educational purposes? Through a review of literature published from 2017– 2020, the authors explore these questions to provide a snapshot of how VR is being used in classrooms and educational research. The authors conclude with predictions for the future and suggestions for future research.


Lege, R., & Bonner, E. (2021). Virtual reality in education: The promise, progress, and challenge. The JALT CALL Journal, 16(3), 167-180. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v16n3.388