V-Volcano: Addressing Students’ Misconceptions in Earth Sciences Learning through Virtual Reality Simulations

Document Type


Publication Date



Research in teaching and learning about Earth Sciences indicates that first year geology students not only lack knowledge about basic concepts, but that they may also have developed their own potentially incorrect explanations of those phenomena. Understanding volcanic concepts is one of the areas in which noticeable misconceptions occur, as a significant number of students seem to acquire their knowledge from non-traditional sources such as sensationalist media and catastrophic films. This paper presents V-Volcano, a virtual reality volcano activity learning environment that immerses students in a scientifically-accurate simulation of volcanic systems. Students are able to generate and manipulate volcanic eruptions in real-time with data monitoring to explore the effects of changing conditions. The goal is to provide a geoscience tool that can be used to correct student misunderstandings about volcanic phenomena.