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Journal of STEM Teacher Education

Abstract

This study examined gender-related issues in using new desktop virtual reality (VR) technology as a learning tool in career and technical education (CTE). Using relevant literature, theory, and cross-case analysis of data and findings, the study compared and analyzed the outcomes of two recent studies conducted by a research team at Oklahoma State University that addressed gender issues in VR-based training. This cross-case analysis synthesized the results of these two studies to draw conclusions and implications for CTE educators that may assist in developing or implementing successful virtual learning environments for occupational training. The cross-study findings suggested that males and females may be differently affected by VR and that females may be less comfortable, confident, and capable in virtual learning environments, particularly when the environments are highly technical and visually complex. The findings indicate caution in the use of VR in mixed-gender CTE programs, particularly in programs that are heavily female-gendered.

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