Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Curriculum


Jeffery Mangram


Augmented Reality;Design;Extended Reality;Learning;Presence;Virtual Reality

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Technology


The goal of this qualitative study was to answer the question: How do educators make sense of learning in virtual reality? This study utilized multimedia learning theory and cognitive load theory to explore how educators understand virtual reality in education. Pre- and postinterviews as well as a VR experience were conducted with 13 educators from higher education institutions. The data was transcribed, coded, and developed into themes that created the data chapters. The findings from this research study revealed that educators identified two themes for extended reality in education. First, the design of virtual reality experiences for students was an important element the educators discussed when creating the types of experiences. Second, the educators discussed the importance of presence in virtual reality for students to feel immersed in the virtual spaces which eliminated distractions. The educators discussed how emotions increase presence which creates deeper connections to the content. The educator’s discussions of design and presence called attention to the importance of extended reality in education. The results of this study give insight into the understanding the educators have for using extended reality in the classroom. This study focuses attention on how educators discussed design and presence as it relates to student’s learning in extended reality. The shift that the educators in this dissertation study had in teaching and research after their first introduction to extended reality was also discussed in this dissertation. Their outlook for the future of extended reality in education is full of promise.


Open Access