Preparing novice teachers for stressful classroom situations through somatic-cognitive experience in a responsive virtual reality simulation


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Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Description The paper explores the possibilities of a simulated virtual reality (VR) environment to support novice teachers in developing competencies for coping with stressful situations. The topic is part of dissertation research that focuses on 1) the stress management strategies of novice teachers in a VR training environment; 2) the design and evaluation of pedagogical VR simulations in an adaptive learning platform. The main research question: What are the possibilities of VR in preparing novice teachers to cope with stressful situations? The research design combines qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection and integrates knowledge from the humanities with design methods and analytical measurement of VR data. Quantitative data from measurements (gaze trekking, stress level) are being complemented by interviews, focus groups and self-reflection of the somatic-cognitive VR experience (qualitative). Some fields of study for teacher preparation have limited opportunities to prepare for unexpected situations and social and other classroom-specificities. Virtual simulated environments can address the need for practice in preparing novice teachers and provide different variations of learning environments, instant feedback, metrics (which are not obtainable in a real classroom), and a safe space for preparation (Dieker et al., 2015; Lamb & Etopio, 2020; McGarr, 2020). Initial research data show that with higher levels of immersion, VR avatars (digital representations of the user character in the simulation) can faithfully represent different physical attributes or socio-cultural backgrounds and thus support a diverse classroom environment. It brings new possibilities for pedagogical situations that can be experienced through VR.

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