Problem Space Identification for Developing Virtual Reality Learning Environments

Lähtevänoja, Antti
Holopainen, Jani
Mattila, Osmo
Pöyry, Essi
Parvinen, Petri
Tuunanen, Tuure
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Our study argues that the extant literature on virtual reality-based learning environments (VRLEs) currently lacks proper definitions and context descriptions for a problem space, which is fundamental for conducting design science research (DSR). Without properly conducted problem space identification, the most pivotal problems cannot be identified resulting solutions lacking validity and unreliable evaluations. This is a major challenge for the DSR in the educational field, but also for the research on VRLEs. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel DSR method to support rigorous problem space identification, which would allow rigorous and profound problem space analysis. The instantiation of our method is depicted with a VRLE development project. In the problem space identification –process we adopt the concepts of self-determination theory and learning path to study and consider individual and a system level of the current VRLE artifact. This theoretical lens enables us to identify the problem space for VRLEs and also suggest how the to-be-developed artifact to be later evaluated. This paper contributes by introducing a general problem space identification for VRLEs and a DSR method to guide the future DSR in the educational field.
Mixed, Augmented and Virtual Reality: Services and Applications, design based research, design science research, educational design research, virtual reality learning environments.
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