VR as Library Technology: Early Faculty and Student Feedback on Educational Use of Immersive Technology

  • V. J. McClendon
  • James RiggallEmail author
Part of the Educational Media and Technology Yearbook book series (EMTY, volume 42)


In developing a Virtual Reality (VR) project, the library creates a democratic home for a teaching and lab space for a visiting Fulbright scholar to build energy and community around this new immersive technology. Following three academic quarters of VR teaching, workshops, community outreach, and awareness building, interviews of volunteer faculty and student participants provide valuable feedback on their reflection as to the potential of Virtual Reality experiences to scaffold and supplement student learning and their value of the positioning of such technology within the library as a central location. Faculty (N = 5) each provide unique lenses on the importance of the immersive technology within their areas of practice. In addition, two advanced students in the paired Communication Studies VR courses discussed their experiences. Advanced students explained after intensive use of VR software and final project development, the experience changed their thinking about education and future career opportunities. Additional pre-medicine students provided written reflective responses following a VR biology experience (N = 13). Future study is recommended to explore the library as a technology hub and further nuanced details of how immersive technology can expand and scaffold student learning outcomes across a variety of subject areas.


Virtual Reality Libraries Learning Technology Virtual Experience 



The authors would like to thank the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program (2017–18) for its support and contribution to the Bellevue College VR Fulbright project and the selection of Mr. James Riggall as the visiting scholar.


  1. Anonymous. (2015). In praise of libraries. Rotarian Magazine, 25–29.Google Scholar
  2. Becker, S. A., Brown, M., Dahlstrom, E., Davis, A., DePaul, K., Diaz, V., & Pomerantz, J. (2018). NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition. Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE.Google Scholar
  3. Bruner, J. (1990). The Jerusalem-Harvard lectures: Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Ford, A. (2017, September 1). Making virtual reality a reality: NCSU libraries offer top-notch simulation technology. American Libraries. Retrieved from
  5. Jochems, W., van Merrienboer, J., & Koper, R. (2004). Integrated E-Learning: Implications for Pedagogy. In Technology & Organization. New York: Routledge-Falmer.Google Scholar
  6. Lambert, T. (2016, February 24). Virtual library: Creating a new experience. Public Libraries Online. Retrieved from
  7. Mathews, B., Metko, S., & Tomlin, P. (2018, May/June). Empowerment, experimentation, engagement: Embracing partnership models in libraries. EDUCAUSE Review.Google Scholar
  8. Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Moore, G. (1996). Technology and social communication. Technology in Society, 18(2), 253–260. Retrieved from Scholar
  10. Rasmus, D., & Salkowitz, R. (2009). Microsoft executive leadership series: Listening to the future: Why it’s everybody’s business. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  11. VarLibraries. (2017). VarLibraries: Building an immersive learning community. Retrieved from
  12. Vygotsky, L. S. (1980). In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.), Mind and society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Library and eLearning, Bellevue CollegeBellevueUSA
  2. 2.BitLinkLauncestonAustralia

Personalised recommendations