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Board 68: Work in Progress: Developing Engineering Students’ Professional Development Skills through Augmented and Virtual Reality Gaming Environments

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Matthew Nelson Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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My background and interests are in RF, embedded systems, and engineering education. I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. in Computer Engineering both from Iowa State University. I am now working towards my PhD in Engineering Education in the Human Computer Interaction group at Iowa State University.

Currently, I am a staff member of the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University as the program coordinator for the Make to Innovate program at Iowa State University. This program provides our students with an opportunity to do hands-on projects and includes everything from underwater to space projects. In addition to my duties at Iowa State University, I also serve as the president of the Stratospheric Ballooning Association. This organization aims to promote, educate, and encourage collaboration for high-altitude balloon projects.

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Benjamin Ahn Iowa State University

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Students working on hands on projects have a unique opportunity to exercise and learn engineering skills outside of what they learn in the classroom. However, students also need professional skills, or soft skills, that allow them to work effectively on their projects in a team environment. Unfortunately, these skills are often overlooked in the students’ core classes and students are usually unfamiliar with these skills. Not having these skills in a project based program can lead to negative outcomes for the students. New technology is rapidly changing, and new techniques that can be used to teach engineering students these valuable skills have become easier to obtain. Advancements in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are one set of emerging technology being explored in education and engineering education. In this paper,we will examine the use of VR to teach engineering students professional development skills such as leadership, teamwork, and communication. This study will be used to examine if these tools can aid the students in learning these valuable skills. The Game Based Learning (GBL) theoretical framework will be used to guide this research. With GBL, we will use a gaming environment to teach these skills to students in an interactive environment and study on the effectiveness of using both VR and GBL to teach these skills. We will also discuss the activities that were developed and the learning outcomes from each activity. Finally, we will discuss preliminary results from students using the virtual reality system and the activities we have developed.

Nelson, M., & Ahn, B. (2018, June), Board 68: Work in Progress: Developing Engineering Students’ Professional Development Skills through Augmented and Virtual Reality Gaming Environments Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30086

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