Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Committee Member

Clif Mims

Committee Member

Delise Teague

Committee Member

Monte Tatom

Committee Member

William Hunter


The introduction of low-cost hand-held devices has provided K-12 educators with the opportunity to teach using virtual reality (VR). However, the efficacy of VR in K-12 classrooms for teaching and learning has not been established. Therefore, the purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the influence of virtual reality field trips on middle-school students social studies academic achievement and motivation. The district chosen for the study is in a rural, economically depressed county, where generational poverty persists. However, the district has a history of being an early adopter of technology. Participants included 76 seventh-grade students at two middle schools, who participated in social studies instruction using either the traditional lecture method or a virtual reality system. The virtual reality system used in this study was the Google Expeditions Virtual Reality System, which uses smartphone technology and iBlue Google VR 3-D Glasses. Before and after the instruction was provided, participants were assessed using the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS) and teacher designed social studies test. The results of the two one-way ANCOVAs, demonstrated that students using virtual reality scored significantly higher than students participating in traditional instruction on both their academic achievement and motivation. These findings provide support for the use of virtual reality in middle-school social studies classrooms.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.


4th committee member added.