Virtual reality (VR) in engineering education and training: A bibliometric analysis

Nai Yeen Gavin Lai, Kok Hoong Wong, Lih Jiun Yu, Hooi Siang Kang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Although Virtual Reality (VR) was first mentioned in the 60s, the research interest into the technology and its application are still gaining much attention globally. VR technology had evolved and had found niche application in many fields including entertainment, tourism, healthcare, manufacturing, education and more. A notable characteristic of the VR technology is that it seeks to immerse the user into the intended environment and narrative, allowing high user interaction and involvement. These qualities are very beneficial for engineering education. In the past, cost, hardware capabilities and availability, connectivity and other issues had hindered VR wider adoption and application. However, it is changing with the advent of more devices, the involvement of more consumer electronic players and the growth of digitization. This paper seeks to report on the research on virtual reality in engineering education over the past 26 years. The study conducts a bibliometric analysis to reflect the trend of VR in engineering education settings, thus identifying the possible emerging trends. An extensive literature search was conducted using the Scopus database and was analyzed using Vosviewer and Excel. There is an increasing trend of VR research related to the engineering education settings with an evident increase in the scope, the coverage and the citations figures. There is tremendous growth in the number of publications and citations in the recent past four years of the study. The most active author in the field is Sampaio, and the top universities where the publications are affiliated with are Purdue University and Clemson University. The majority of the publications were also found to be affiliated with the "ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Conference Proceedings". The United States had the honor of being the country with the majority of publications from this study. There is a continuous shift of research interest observed through the publications keywords, and this provides an indication of the dynamic progression of research direction among researcher in the field of study. The findings of this study provide a good overview of the trend in research related to VR in engineering education and can serve as a guide to academics seeking to research or adapt the usage of VR in engineering settings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 2nd World Symposium on Software Engineering, WSSE 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450387873
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2020
Event2nd World Symposium on Software Engineering, WSSE 2020 - Virtual, Online, China
Duration: 25 Sept 202027 Sept 2020

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference2nd World Symposium on Software Engineering, WSSE 2020
CityVirtual, Online


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • VR, Engineering education
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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