Journal of Educational Research and Practice




With the proliferation of students’ abilities to use technology, in particular virtual reality (VR) applications, teachers are experimenting with VR in virtual learning environments (VLE) to engage students; but clear ethics and safety guidelines are not available. Within the field of education additional research is needed to determine how VR is employed in VLEs. Additionally, what are the decision-making processes of educators for the VR programs chosen for classroom use based on ethics and student safety? Through qualitative inquiry, educators from K–12 and higher education shared their perceptions of ethics and safety concerns in VR applications for use in the classroom. We collected data from a sample of K–12 and higher education professionals from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) membership, an educational organization emphasizing technology integration and learning. Data analysis from the individual interviews with open-ended questions revealed five primary themes and twelve sub-themes. Participants agreed that they need ethical and safety guidelines as they embark on new horizons that influence student well-being. The findings from this study may provide an in-depth understanding of the importance of developing ethics and safety guidelines for educational VR programs when used by students.