Implementation of virtual reality in construction education: a content-analysis based literature review

Silvia Mastrolembo Ventura, F. Castronovo, Dragana Nikolic, Angelo Luigi Camillo Ciribini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In construction education many research initiatives have explored the adoption of innovative and interactive learning experiences for improving the visual, analytical and problem-solving skills of students. Virtual reality (VR), in particular, has been increasingly viewed as a promising way for students to dynamically interact with information, to test concepts in a visual and intuitive manner and, through real-time feedback, to begin to construct their knowledge and spatial skills. However, with the proliferation of consumer market VR devices and headsets, the question of their appropriateness and specific benefits for construction education becomes even more important and educational VR applications still fall short of offering straightforward VR solutions to consistently realize the said benefits. This also reveals a host of conceptual and empirical challenges in how VR for construction education is conceptualized and justified. This study proposes an extensive review of the literature to identify and discuss contextual factors and trends in VR implementation for construction education in relation to three main foundations: (1) educational theoretical foundations, (2) methodological foundations and (3) technological foundations. A content analysis-based approach is adopted to identify and discuss key research themes. Results from the literature review have provided an insight into the current efforts of the implementation of virtual reality into pedagogy. It has provided a timeline of how such implementation has changed throughout the last twenty years. In addition, this study provides a unique perspective of the methodologies deployed in this research topic as well as an overview of the technological configurations adopted for VR use cases in the construction education domain. Based on these achievements, this study aims to pave the way for new research opportunities in the application of VR in construction education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Pages (from-to)705-731
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2022


  • virtual reality
  • construction education
  • level of immersion
  • cognitive processes
  • learning theories
  • VR use cases
  • content analysis review


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