Virtual Reality Program for enhancing significant learning in a high school human biology course

  • Jose Garza Martinez Tecnologico de Monterrey
Keywords: educational innovation, virtual reality, significant learning, academic performance, high school, human biology


The creation of virtual environments and their implementation have been a matter of greatest importance in the last decades. They have been a breaking point for progress in different fields like communication and entertainment, being education, not the exception. Additionally, there has been uprising importance in the learning and teaching of human biology, especially through the increase of biology-related research. However, learning human biology, especially anatomy, is perceived as difficult by students. The objective of this study is to enhance the significant learning of human biology by implementing a Virtual Reality Program (VRP) in a high school biology course. The VRP used Virtual Reality (VR) devices (Oculus-Go® and Oculus-Rift®) and consisted of three stages: exploration, virtual reality lab and knowledge reinforcement. In the exploration, the students had a guided approach of the topics with a professor’s explanation; afterward, they had guided and independent collaborative experience in the Virtual Reality lab; and finally, their knowledge was reinforced in communication with the professor. A post-test only with a control group design was employed with 120 students. There were two experimental groups (63 students) and two control groups (57 students). After completing the stages of the VRP, all the groups had a final knowledge evaluation where the experimental groups obtained a mean of 77.24, while the control groups had 69.11. There was a significant statistical difference between the groups with a P<0.05 using a two-sample t-test. This proves that implementing a long-time virtual reality learning approach in high school human biology courses is effective for enhancing significant learning.


Arbona, C. B., García-Palacios, A., & Baños, R. M. (2007). Realidad virtual y tratamientos psicológicos. Editorial Médica.

Arslan, R., Kofoğlu, M., & Dargut, C. (2020). Development of Augmented Reality Application for Biology Education. Journal of Turkish Science Education (TUSED), 17(1), 62–72.

Castéra, J., Sarapuu, T., & Piksööt, J. (2012). Improving Student Conceptualisations through Manipulation in a Web-Based Learning Environment. eLearning & Software for Education, 1, 449–454.

Escartín, E. R. (2000). La realidad virtual, una tecnología educativa a nuestro alcance. Pixel-Bit. Revista de Medios y Educación, 15, 5-21.

Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses (2nd ed). John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.

Garcia, B. M., Jensen, M., & Katona, G. (2019). A practical guide to developing virtual and augmented reality exercises for teaching structural biology. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Education, 47(1), 16–24.

Kwun, O., Alijani, G. S., & Khaleel, M. A. (2019). Adoption of Virtual Reality in Learning among Hbcu Students. Global Journal of Business Pedagogy (GJBP), 3(1), 116–124.

Lee, E. A.-L., & Wong, K. W. (2014). Learning with desktop virtual reality: Low spatial ability learners are more positively affected. Computers & Education, 79, 49–58.

Martínez, F. P. (2011). Presente y Futuro de la Tecnología de la Realidad Virtual. Creatividad y sociedad.

Mason, H. D. (2017). Sense of meaning and academic performance: A brief report. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 27(3), 282–285.

Selivanov, V. V., Selivanova, L. N., & Babieva, N. S. (2020). Cognitive Processes and Personality Traits in Virtual Reality Educational and Training. Psychology in Russia. State of the Art, 13(2), 16–28.

Semsar, K., Knight, J., Birol, G. & Smith, M. (2011). The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) for Use in Biology. Life Sciences Education, (10), 268–278.

Shim, K. C., Park, J. S., Kim, H. S., Kim, J. H., Park, Y. C., & Ryu, H. I. (2003). Application of virtual reality technology in biology education. Journal of Biological Education, 37(2), 71-74.

Shudayfat, E. A., Moldoveanu, A., Moldoveanu, F., & Grădinaru, A. (2013). Virtual Reality-Based Biology Learning Module. ELearning & Software for Education, 2, 621–626.

Solak, E., & Erdem, G. (2015). A Content Analysis of Virtual Reality Studies in Foreign Language Education. Participatory Educational Research, 21–26.

Steuer, J. (1992). Defining virtual reality: Dimensions determining telepresence. Journal of communication, 42(4), 73-93.

Thornhill-Miller, B., & Dupont, J.-M. (2016). Virtual Reality and the Enhancement of Creativity and Innovation: Under Recognized Potential Among Converging Technologies? Journal of Cognitive Education & Psychology, 15(1), 102–121.

Youngblut, Ch. (1998). Educational Uses of Virtual Reality Technology. Institute for Defense Analysis.

How to Cite
Garza Martinez, J. (2021). Virtual Reality Program for enhancing significant learning in a high school human biology course. Proceedings of the International Conference on Future of Education, 3(01), 66-76.