This article looks at the teaching aspects of virtual reality, as opposed to the use of virtual reality as a teaching tool (in virtual teaching environments). It is motivated by a perceived need for clarity, focus, and dialogue that are lacking within the VR community of developers, instructors, and end users. The market for visualization/3D computer graphics/simulations has seen a steady growth over the last decade. Yet, despite success stories in oil exploration, military training, car manufacturing, and other sectors, the VR curriculum has been fragmented and heterogeneous. The most longevity and success has been shown by programs that are designed to satisfy a societal need, such as the MOVES Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School (USA). The difficulty in adequately teaching VR may be related to the expense of setting up dedicated laboratories, and the lack of supporting textbooks in the 1990s. Yet such laboratories and books are key to gaining true understanding of the VR domain. An informal worldwide survey shows that only 3% of universities offer such courses, with half being in the USA. A listing of courses in Core (VR, VE technology) and Related (human factors, interface design, arts, architecture) areas is included in the Appendix. It is hoped that this article will spark a much-needed dialog within the VR community on ways to better teach VR to address societal needs.

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