Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
NSF Grantees Poster Session
In light of historical and modern industrial accidents, process safety has become an integral part of engineering curricula. ABET-accredited chemical engineering programs require process safety education, so it is common for students to be exposed to safety scenarios in the context of case studies or class discussions. When students are forced to decide on a course of action in these situations, they may instinctively gravitate towards utilitarian solutions. However, such a response may result in students failing to weigh key factors and constraints that can influence the same decision in a real workplace, such as time, money, and professional reputation.
To allow students to make safety decisions in a safe and more authentic manner, an immersive digital environment called “Contents Under Pressure” was developed and deployed at four institutions. In the environment, students take on the role of a supervisor at a chemical plant. The students interact with characters who have diverse backgrounds and motivations. Students access the digital environment for short periods of time over a period of fifteen days, making decisions that potentially have impacts on the plant’s productivity, their personal reputation with their digital coworkers, and overall workplace safety. Over time, some decisions become more urgent, necessitating a shift in decision making strategies. In order to assess the impact of the game on students’ decision making, the Engineering Process Safety Research Instrument (EPSRI), which was previously developed and validated as part of this work, will be administered to cohorts of students who interacted with the digital environment and a control group who received only the standard safety instruction from their home institution. The goal of this assessment will be to observe how, if at all, students pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional reasoning shifted due to the virtual setting.
This paper will summarize the development of “Contents Under Pressure” to date and revisions made based on participant feedback. It will describe the first iteration of the game, its deployment, student feedback, students motivation based on the MUSIC Model of Motivation (Jones, 2015), and modifications made to the game prior to its larger implementation in Fall 2019. This paper will also discuss how both the EPSRI and “Contents Under Pressure” may serve as potential platforms for safety training in contexts beyond chemical engineering and chemical manufacturing.
Anastasio, D. D., & Bassett, L., & Stransky, J., & Bodnar, C. A., & Burkey, D. D., & Cooper, M. (2020, June), Collaborative Research: Designing an Immersive Virtual Environment for Chemical Engineering Process Safety Training Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34301
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015