Virtual reality for student learning: Understanding individual differences

Ping Li, Jennifer Legault, Alexander Klippel, Jiayan Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Virtual reality (VR) is emerging as a rapidly developing technology that holds significant promises to impact student learning. In this review, we focus on the features of this technology regarding levels of immersion and interaction and individual differences in cognitive characteristics of VR learners. We attempt to parse the specific technological features that enable effective learning and examine how students mentally process these features. While VR helps to create situated learning conditions, its theoretical significance lies in its ability to provide perception-action enabled experiences to the learner, and it is these experiences that lead to positive behavioural and brain outcomes compared to traditional methods of learning. Our discussion highlights the understanding of VR learning with respect to individual differences, especially in spatial abilities of the learner, and how variability in spatial abilities might impact both spatial learning and language learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)28
Number of pages36
JournalHuman Behaviour and Brain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2020


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