Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have undergone considerable development in recent years. Even though it seems that we are still in a primitive technological stage, it is already recognised that VR/AR can provide exciting opportunities to support teaching and learning . There have been numerous attempts to use this technology in education contexts , in most cases showing success . Example include military training applications , engineering applications through VR laboratories , and history  and astronomy  education. The possibilities to use VR/AR transcend to other contexts, such as interactive performances, theatre, galleries, discovery centres and so on . The advantage of VR as an experimental and educational tool is the ability to place the participant inside any scene with high degree of immersion . However, there are also examples where educational application has only been partially successful, such as the use of 3D anatomy models in medical education  or skill transfer in VR based microsurgery training . Greater understanding is needed as to the features of such applications that are especially conducive to student learning. More fundamentally though, clarity is needed on the classification of the tools to accurately describe e.g. function and design.
This article presents and analyzes existing taxonomies of virtual and augmented reality and demonstrates knowledge gaps and mixed terminology, which may cause confusion among educators, researchers, and developers. Several such occasions of confusion are presented. A methodology is then presented to construct a taxonomy of virtual reality and augmented reality applications based on a combination of: a faceted analysis approach for the overall design of the taxonomy; an existing taxonomy of educational objectives to derive the educational purpose; an information systems analysis to establish important facets of the taxonomy; and two systematic mapping studies to identify categories within each facet. Using this methodology, a new taxonomy is proposed and the implications of its facets (and combinations of facets) are demonstrated. The taxonomy focuses on technology used to provide the virtual or augmented reality as well as the content presented to the user, including the type of gamification and how it is operated. It also accommodates a large number of devices and approaches developed throughout the years and for multiple industries, and provides a way to categorize them in order to clarify communication between researchers, developers, and educators. Use of the taxonomy is then demonstrated in two case studies-a virtual reality chemical plant for use in chemical engineering education and an augmented reality dog for veterinary education.