The ​Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN)​ connects educators, developers, and researchers to work together on developing the scientific, technical, and applied potential of immersive learning. New and emerging virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and other related technologies (collectively known as “XR”) present new opportunities for tackling some of the world’s most capacious and pressing societal, environmental, and economic problems; iLRN seeks to foster a global, interdisciplinary community of scholarship and practice, founded on the principles of open science and open design, aimed at leveraging these opportunities for the good of our planet and its inhabitants.

Central to iLRN’s mission and goals is developing and showcasing a rigorous evidence base of “what works” for facilitating effective and engaging experiences using XR and immersive technologies across the full span of learning—from K-12 through higher education to work-based, informal, and lifelong learning contexts. By offering resources, tools, and forums for experts to meet, share, and collaborate as well as by undertaking its own, strategically targeted research efforts, independently and in partnership with other organizations, iLRN strives to assist and promote the development of knowledge, skills, principles, and practices throughout the multitude of enterprises where the unique affordances of the technology may be powerfully harnessed to support and catalyze human learning and achievement.

iLRN has roots in a special interest group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) called ARIEL—Applied Research in Immersive Environments for Learning (founded in 2007 as ARVEL—Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning), which was responsible for organizing a Special Track at AERA’s annual conference. iLRN became an independent organization in 2014. In the fall of 2014, it ran an online symposium, hosted by the University of Oregon. Its inaugural in-person event was a Special Track that was part of the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (IE’15) in Prague, Czech Republic in July 2015. Since then, iLRN’s annual conference has been a standalone event that has rotated between North America and Europe. It has quickly gained a reputation as the premier scholarly event focusing on advances in the use of VR/AR/MR (XR) and immersive technologies for supporting learners and learning across sectors and contexts.

Following the success of iLRN 2020, the iLRN 2021 conference will once again take place online, on the iLRN Virtual Campus and across the Metaverse, and it will once again be technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Education Society. However, in contrast to previous years, activities will be spread over a four-week period so as to give attendees more opportunities to participate at times that are conducive to their local time zones.

Sponsor Type:1; 9


General Chairs

Alexander Klippel, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
Kai Erenli, University of Applied Sciences bfi Vienna, Austria

Program Chairs (Academic Stream)

Daphne Economou, University of Westminster, UK
Andreas Dengel, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Germany
Erica Southgate, University of Newcastle, Australia

Program Chair (Practitioner Stream)


Publication Chairs

Anasol Peña-Rios, British Telecom Research Labs, UK
Markos Mentzelopoulos, University of Westminster, UK

Workshops, Panels, & Special Sessions Chair


Demos & Showcase Chair

Maya Georgieva, The New School, USA

Videos, Posters, & Exhibitions Chair


Doctoral Colloquium Chairs

Louis Nisiotis, University of Central Lancashire – Cyprus Campus, Cyprus
Tiago Martins Peres, Universidade Aberta, Portugal
Felipe Pinechero, University of Coimbra and INESC TEC, Portugal

Community Engagement Chair

Rob Theriault, Georgian College, Canada

Opportunity & Inclusion Chair

Karen Alexander, XRconnectED, USA

Partnerships, Sponsorships, & Outreach Chair


Social Activities Chair

Kheng Swee (Evan) Goh, IEEE-USA and Sweetech LLC, USA

Administration & Operations Chairs

Heather Dodds, Immersive Learning Research Network, USA
Amanda Kavner, Half Hollow Hills Central School District, USA

Evaluation Chairs

Cindy Ziker, Ziker Research, USA
Patrick O’Shea, Appalachian State University, USA

Finance Chair / Treasurer

Patrick O’Shea, Appalachian State University, USA

Director, iLRNFuser Game Jam Series

Markos Mentzelopoulos, University of Westminster, UK

Call for paper

Important date

Draft paper submission deadline

Submission Topics

Track 1. Assessment and Evaluation (A&E)

Track 2. Early Childhood Development & Learning (ECDL)

Track 3. Galleries, Libraries, Archives, & Museums (GLAM)

Track 4. Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, & Social Justice (IDEAS)

Track 5. K-12 STEM Education

Track 6. Language, Culture, & Heritage (LCH)

Track 7. Medical & Healthcare Education (MHE)

Track 8. Nature & Environmental Sciences (NES)

Track 9. Workforce Development & Industry Training (WDIT)

Track 10. Basic Research and Theory in Immersive Learning (not linked to any particular application area)

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Important Date
  • Conference Date

    May 17



    Jun 10


  • Feb 15 2021

    Draft paper submission deadline

Sponsored By
IEEE Education Society Immersive Learning Research Network
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