Pedagogy of Productive Failure: Navigating the Challenges of Integrating VR into the Classroom


  • Marijel Melo University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Elizabeth Bentley Department of English, University of Arizona
  • Ken S. McAllister College of Humanities, University of Arizona
  • Jos Cortez Department of English, University of Oregon



virtual reality, educational technology, failure, transdisciplinarity, focused associational thinking


The surge of popular interest in virtual reality (VR), largely driven by recent advances making the hardware and software for VR development and use accessible to average consumers, is showing all the signs of a durable trend. One of those signs is active uptake in the academy, both for research (where it was pioneered) and in the classroom (where its footing is less certain). To be sure, VR offers exciting and relatively underdeveloped pedagogical terrain for teachers looking to enhance their curricula by deploying technologies that might optimize the learning process. This article offers a critical reflection on one such effort, specifically, our academic team

Author Biography

Marijel Melo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science