Positioned in the context of experiential learning, this paper reports findings of a virtual reality field trip (VRFT) in conjunction with an in-person field trip involving preservice teachers in an elementary science methods course to a local natural history museum.
Findings included that virtual reality (VR) is best used after a field trip to encourage student recall of the experience, but only when done for a limited time to avoid VR fatigue.
The types of experiences that preservice teachers thought VR would be good for in their science classrooms included the ability to visit either inaccessible or unsafe locations, to explore scales of size that are either too big or too small, and to witness different eras or events at varying temporal scales.
Furthermore, this study uncovered potential equity issues related to VRFTs being seen as a viable alternative if students could not afford to go on field trips.
Further research needs to be conducted to better understand the impact of VRFTs on student learning outcomes and take advantage of recent improvements in VR technology.