Date of Conferral







Heather Pederson


Instructional designers face the challenge of developing strong immersive virtual environments for education. However, there is very little research regarding the study of both the competence and practice of instructional design in the immersive virtual reality environment. The purpose of this qualitative Delphi study was to identify best practices that could be used by instructional designers when designing virtual reality-based safety training in order to improve safety competence and practice in the industrial environment. The conceptual framework for this study was based on the 3 primary groups of learning theory: behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Guiding questions were specific to the identification of instructional design elements, practices, and models that are used by instructional designers when developing virtual reality-based safety training. Participants were 4 expert panelists who were experienced instructional designers geographically dispersed across the United States with more than 10 years of experience. Data sources were 1 round of open-ended questionnaires and 2 rounds of rank-based questionnaires. After the 3 rounds, results revealed that best practices should include scenario-based instructional strategies that use psychomotor skills with competency-based assessments. The assessments should be clearly aligned to the learning objectives/outcomes and be demonstrative in scope. This study facilitates positive social change by providing instructional design insight regarding the use of virtual reality technology when merged with instructional theoretical considerations. The reflective nature of this study affords the instructional designer an opportunity to consider application of the technology specific to their individual projects.