A Comprehensive Rubric for Evaluating EduVR

Alex Fegely, Todd S Cherner
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 20  •  2021  •  pp. 137-171

This article presents a comprehensive rubric for evaluating educational virtual reality experiences for mobile devices. The aim of this article is to systematically analyze research to address the quality of virtual reality experiences on mobile applications in order to extend the work of Lee and Cherner (2015) and their instructional application rubric.

Ratings in proprietary mobile application stores – The App Store and Google Play, etc. – are generic and do not provide meaningful evaluations of the virtual reality. This article utilizes research in the areas of virtual reality and education to present a comprehensive rubric for evaluating educational virtual reality for mobile applications, which continues to advance previously published, research-based rubrics.

The methodology uses a systematic process that spans multiple stages. The first stage was to locate pre-existing rubrics for virtual reality, followed by a review of literature focused on it. The third stage was to develop and vet a research-supported rubric for evaluating educational virtual reality.

The main contribution from this article is that it fills a gap in the literature by presenting a criterion-referenced, research-supported rubric for evaluating the quality of educational virtual reality for mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, and app-connected goggles).

This paper’s findings include the domains, dimensions, and criterion-referenced Likert scale indicators in the form of rubric dimensions for evaluating educational virtual reality. The evaluative domains consist of (1) Positioning of the EduVR, (2) Avatar Level, (3) Virtual Environment, and (4) Virtual Experience.

This rubric is a tool for instructional coaches, teacher educators, and instructional technologists to use when recommending virtual reality experiences for instructional purposes.

Researchers can use this tool to monitor the quality of educational virtual reality being developed for classroom use. They can also use this rubric to examine educational virtual reality experiences they would use in their studies and evaluate how those educational virtual reality experiences impact student learning, engagement, and collaboration.

We foresee this rubric being an aid in the development, selection, and purchase of educational virtual reality by educational institutions, educators, researchers, edtech developers, and edu-philanthropists, thus advancing the quality and expectations for educational virtual reality experiences.

Future researchers can further enhance the validity of this rubric by collecting large amounts of data from a diverse set of end users and stakeholders. Also, subsequent rubrics for evaluating augmented reality and extended reality comprise additional research avenues.

virtual reality, VR, eduVR, educational apps, mobile learning, mobile apps, rubric
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