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Developing a pedagogical photoreal virtual environment to teach civil engineering

Developing a pedagogical photoreal virtual environment to teach civil engineering

Walker, James, Towey, Dave, Pike, Matthew, Kapogiannis, Georgios, Elamin, Ahmed ORCID: 0000-0003-0783-5185 and Wei, Ran (2020) Developing a pedagogical photoreal virtual environment to teach civil engineering. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 17 (3). pp. 303-321. ISSN 1741-5659 (doi:

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It is possible for civil engineering (CE) students to graduate from a degree programme without gaining experience on a construction site. The implementation of virtual field trips using virtual reality (VR) in CE education is a development that can address this phenomenon and help facilitate the consolidation of abstract theories into tangible competences. This project aims to solve a fundamental CE education problem: once a structure has been completed, it is often impossible to see how it was built; hence, how can you demonstrate the construction process to a student?

This research used the opportunity of a new campus library development to record its construction sequence. This was achieved by visiting the site eight times to take panoramic stereoscopic photos of the construction process. By its nature, using VR as a didactic tool facilitates experiential learning, but this project also incorporates discovery learning and situated cognition to develop students’ understanding of the construction process.

The use of VR in education is becoming increasingly common, but the explicit pedagogy used in these environments is rarely obvious or stated. This project draws upon current VR education discussions and explores the development of a VR environment with a pedagogical context.

The development of the VR resource draws upon the pedagogical frameworks of discovery learning (Bruner, 1961) and situated cognition (Lave and Wenger, 1991). A further unique aspect of this research is the use of stereoscopic cameras to capture the library’s construction over time.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ‘Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited. Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher.’
Uncontrolled Keywords: education innovation, virtual reality, virtual field trip, civil engineering education, pedagogical frameworks, discovery learning, situated cognition
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Engineering (ENG)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023 12:36

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