Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Computers in Education
This paper describes students’ experiences with a required, first-year graduate course on virtual reality (VR) taught at our Master of Science in Engineering with Mechatronics Emphasis (MS-Mechatronics) program. This, three credit-hour semester-long course consists of lectures and laboratory examples, exercises and projects. The authoring software platform used was EON Professional by EON Reality. The Computer Assisted Virtual Environment (CAVE) consisted of a small classroom without windows and an EON Icatcher High Definition (HD) VR system. The system comprised a front-mounted short focal length 3D projector (DLP active stereo projector), a large projector screen (941/2” x 168”), three infrared (IR) tracking cameras, ten VR/RF glasses, a graphic server, a digital sound system, and some interactive devices such as a joystick, 3D mouse, wireless keyboard, wand, etc. Two groups of students (Fall 2016 and Fall 2017) took the course. Laboratory examples and exercises were developed during the 2015-2016 school year. Apart from these examples (mostly done during the class time) and exercises (mostly done outside the scheduled class/lab time) students were asked to create VR experiences for projects of their own invention. The projects served as a powerful learning engine as well as an evaluation of students’ knowledge and skill gains. Students created their own story boards, built their virtual worlds using VR concepts and EON Professional techniques, and programmed in a graphical, as well as, a textual language. Students’ motivation also increased while they were creating their projects. Finally, the students were involved in a few outreach activities showing their work to other students, faculty, administrators, and the public. An assessment of student attitudes towards the VR class and the lab was performed through pointed questionnaires and individual interviews. Students claimed that they learned much, liked and appreciated most of the labs, and were proud of their projects. They didn’t like that there was only one copy of the EON Professional software so they had to schedule their time on the machine including using TeamViewer; that the instruction book/manual was not available (discontinued), and that the software changed so quickly that some of the features stopped working from one release to another. However, they were not annoyed by the fact that the computer could not support 3D viewing on the large screen and the computer monitor simultaneously. Overall, students’ experiences were positive.
Jaksic, N. I. (2018, June), A Virtual Reality Course Using EON Reality: Students’ Experiences Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29743
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