Virtual reality and collaborative learning: A systematic literature review

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Background: While research on Virtual Reality’s potential for education continues to advance, research on its support for Collaborative Learning is small in scope. With remote collaboration and distance learning becoming increasingly relevant for education (especially since the COVID-19 pandemic), an understanding of Virtual Reality’s potential for Collaborative Learning is of importance. To establish how this immersive technology can support and enhance collaboration between learners, this systematic literature review analyses scientific research on Virtual Reality for Collaborative Learning with the intention to identify 1) skills and competences trained, 2) domains and disciplines addressed, 3) systems used and 4) empirical knowledge established.Method: Two scientific databases—Scopus and Web of Science—were used for this review. Following the PRISMA method, a total of 139 articles were analyzed. Reliability of this selection process was assessed using five additional coders. A taxonomy was used to classify these articles. Another coder was used to assess the reliability of the primary coder before this taxonomy was applied to the selected articlesResults: Based on the literature reviewed, skills and competences developed are divided into five categories. Educational fields and domains seem interested in Virtual Reality for Collaborative Learning because of a need for innovation, communities and remote socialization and collaboration between learners. Systems primarily use monitor-based Virtual Reality and mouse-and-keyboard controls. A general optimism is visible regarding the use of Virtual Reality to support and enhance Collaborative LearningConclusion: Five distinct affordances of Virtual Reality for Collaborative Learning are identified: it 1) is an efficient tool to engage and motivate learners, 2) supports distance learning and remote collaboration, 3) provides multi- and interdisciplinary spaces for both learning and collaborating, 4) helps develop social skills and 5) suits Collaborative Learning-related paradigms and approaches. Overall, the reviewed literature suggests Virtual Reality to be an effective tool for the support and enhancement of Collaborative Learning, though further research is necessary to establish pedagogies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1159905
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Virtual Reality
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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