Virtual reality has a number of applications for pedagogy and teacher training; simulation training in these much-needed areas may add an essential component to the field of teacher education (Tondeur, Pareja-Roblin, van Braak, Voogt, & Prestridge, 2017). Computer simulations can provide guided practice for a variety of situations that pre-service teachers wouldn’t frequently experience during their teacher education studies (Mason, Jeon, Blair, & Glomb, 2011; Mason, 2011). Simulations can help pre-service teachers develop the skills that it takes to properly run a classroom without the high-stakes risk of causing harm to actual students (Matsuda, 2005).
There are numerous benefits to game-based learning, including improved learner motivation and engagement, constructive knowledge frameworks, exploratory and independent learning and, at times, higher achievement outcomes over traditional pedagogy (Boyle et al., 2016; Cheong, Flippou, & France, 2015; Peterson, 2019). Simulations can allow pre-service teachers to see their students from a different perspective, gain insight into the best ways to manage their future classroom, and understand the direct consequences of their actions in the classroom (Ferry et al., 2004). Including simulations in pre-service teaching coursework has demonstrated an increase in the confidence and effectiveness of first year teachers (Englebert, 2010).