Virtual reality (VR) has been seen as a tool for simulation in computer-generated settings where users act in real-time at artificial locations interacting synchronously via an interface that can track and display the users actions (Innocenti, 2017). As Yang, Chen, & Jeng (2010) note VR is a highly interactive environment where users interact with various stimuli in the computer-generated world or virtual world. VR devices allows a user to experience the virtual environment as the devices senses the real-time reactions and motions of the user, creating the illusion of interacting and being immersed in the virtual world (Tussyadiah, Wang, Jung, & tom Dieck, 2018).
Dalgarno and Lee (2010) propose that the distinguishing characteristics of a 3-dimensional virtual environment is representational fidelity and learner interaction. They elaborate these characteristics:
1. Representational fidelity refers to the realistic display of the environment, the view of the changes and object motion, consistency of object behavior, user representation, spatial audio, as well as kinesthetic and tactile force feedback.
2. Learner interaction refers to the embodied actions, as well as verbal and non-verbal communications, control of the environment and behaviour, construction and scripting of objects and behaviour to create a sense of identity, presence and co-presence.
Types of Virtual Reality Environments
There are two types of environments for the application of virtual reality technology which Innocenti (2017) differentiates by the degree of immersion of the user, as follows: