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Virtual Reality for Learning.

The consumer age of the Personal Computer and mobile devices has opened up a new world of opportunities for innovative teaching methodologies, many based on serious games and virtual worlds. Similar levels of market penetration are expected for the use of Immersive Virtual Reality (iVR) over upcoming decades, once all the core technologies for game engines and head-mounted displays are available on the market at affordable prices. In this chapter, a general overview of the state of the art of iVR learning experiences is presented. Firstly, the advantages of iVR over traditional learning are described - advantages that must be considered when defining iVR experiences for the optimization of student learning and satisfaction. Secondly, the relationship between learning theories and iVR experiences is briefly summarized; an area where constructivist theories appear to be the most commonly used theory in iVR experiences. Thirdly, some examples of the success of iVR applications at different learning levels, from primary school to higher education, are summarized. Fourthly, the key factors for the successful design and use of an iVR experience in education are identified, from the predesign stage to the final evaluation - with special attention given to the different possibilities of each type of HMD for different kinds of educational experiences. Finally, the main limitations of iVR for learning today and the future trends of this technology for teaching are also identified and discussed.

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