根據對當代教育環境的研究，虛擬現實VR給高等教育帶來了革命性的變革(Schmidt & Stewart, 2009)。虛擬現實技術是能夠利用三維空間爲用戶提供沉浸式環境的技術。用戶能夠在環境中進行交互，並對空間中定義的對象進行操作和執行操作。虛擬現實空間的這一特性使得其在學術環境中的應用具有重要意義。
這種技術對教學的影響可以通過教師現在如何提高學習體驗來理解。在過去，教師可以閱讀主題材料，或者最多顯示圖像和地圖到感興趣的地方或對象，現在，教師可以做得更好。教師和指導者可以幫助學生感受他們所學的是什麼樣子的。現在有許多免費的教學應用程序可用，如Occulus DK2的StreetView，谷歌紙板的紀錄片等等。身臨其境的體驗可以由這裏的講師來創造。教師可以在課堂上創造互動空間，也可以讓學生自己探索項目(Thorsteinnson et al.， 2007)。
According to the research conducted on contemporary educational environments, virtual reality VR revolutionizes higher education (Schmidt & Stewart, 2009). Virtual reality technologies are those technologies which enable the use of a three dimensions’ space that becomes a form of immersive environment for the user. The user is able to interact in the environment and manipulate and perform actions on the defined objects of the space. This characteristic of the VR space makes it significant for the use in the academic environment.
The effect of this technology on teaching can be understood by how the instructor could now enhance the learning experience. Where in the past the instructor would be able to read off on subject material or at best show images and maps to places or objects of interest, now the instructor would be able to do better. Teachers and instructors can help students feel what it is like to be in what they are being taught. There are now many free applications available for teaching such as the StreetView with Occulus DK2, Documentaries available for viewing with Google cardboard and much more. Immersive experiences can be created by the instructor here. Instructors could create interactive spaces in the classroom, and also enable students to explore projects on their own (Thorsteinnson et al., 2007).
Technology aids student performance in that it helps them to collect, observe and analyze data beyond their immediate vicinity of setting. While in the past, they were restricted to data collection, now the use of the internet has enabled better access. With hypertext publishing combined with VR forms such as documentaries, students get an experience that is both exciting and motivating to them (Sinclair, 2016).
Now there are many advantages in using VR such as students being motivated, students being encouraged with creative study material, etc. However, there are cons to the VR usage as well. For instance, the use of the VR has been observed to introduce more isolation to students when they need to interact in the world and learn social skills (Matthews, 2016). The VR training can make students dependent on an online environment which could impede their learning and communication skills in real space.