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Coupling Haptic Learning with Technology To Advance Informal STEM Pedagogies

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Architectural Division Technical Session

Tagged Division

Architectural Engineering

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Paper Authors


Mohamed ElZomor Florida International University

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Dr. Mohamed ElZomor is an Assistant Professor at Florida International University (FIU), College of Engineering and Computing and teaches at the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability. Dr. ElZomor completed his doctorate at Arizona State University (ASU), Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Prior to attending ASU, Dr. ElZomor received a master’s of science degree in Architecture from University of Arizona, a master’s degree in Engineering and a bachelor of science in Construction Engineering from American University in Cairo. Dr. ElZomor moved to FIU from State University of New York, where he was an Assistant Professor at the college of Environmental Science and Forestry. Mohamed’s work focuses on Sustainability of the Built Environment, Engineering Education, Construction Engineering, Energy Efficiency Measures and Modeling, Project Management, and Infrastructure Resilience. Dr. ElZomor has extensive professional project management experience as well as a diverse cross-disciplinary academic knowledge. Mohamed, distinct expertise supports fostering interdisciplinary research in addition to embracing innovative pedagogical approaches in STEM education. Dr. ElZomor has been integrating innovative and novel educational paradigms in STEM education to support student engagement, retention, and diversity.

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Omar Youssef University of Arizona

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Dr. Omar Youssef is a Lecturer at University of Arizona (UofA), College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture, and the School of Sustainable Built Environments. A Building Scientist in the Institute on Place and Wellbeing Performance. An Architect in Practice focusing on Environmental Application within the Industry. Dr. Youssef has extensive industry experience of constructed large-scale projects. Omar's interdisciplinary background combines between Architecture Practice, Environmental Sciences, Health and Wellbeing. His teaching responsibilities are focused on Environmental Technology as well as Design and Energy Conservation, the core of the School's STEM programs. Dr. Youssef has introduced cutting edge technology and virtual reality to his classes (both in person and online) and currently plays an active role on the School's Technology Stream Committee, Digital Technology Committee, and the University Level Digital Technology Advisers.

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Research in the field of engineering education highlights the ineffectiveness of one-way, lecture-based teaching and strongly advocates that faculty adopt new pedagogies that integrate technological tools. Such strategies actively engage learners and support their understanding. To revolutionize the traditional haptic learning pedagogy, Virtual Reality (VR) can be incorporated to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students’ level of learning, advance their communication skills and enhance problem-solving skills. VR is a technological tool that immerses students in the real built environment and utilizes different parts of the brain to access auditory and visual data. This ongoing, work in progress, research study describes the process of interweaving between engineering, technology, architecture and building sciences, through integration of VR. VR was used to leverage a seamless virtual application thus complementing theories with unlimited interactive pedagogies, which kept learners engaged, interested and ultimately fosters retention particularly in haptic courses. Specifically, this study integrates the VR technology into an Environmental Science Laboratory to support teaching, enhance students’ understanding, and increase retention as well as triggering an interactive educational environment. This paper focuses on the method of advancing haptic learning with VR through introducing and analyzing five modules taught in a building sciences laboratory course in addition to sharing limitations and some lessons learned of this pedagogy. Consequently advancing an unorthodox pedagogical approach that not only provides students with a unique educational experience but also equips them with know-how and knowledge to utilize emerging technologies.

ElZomor, M., & Youssef, O. (2019, June), Coupling Haptic Learning with Technology To Advance Informal STEM Pedagogies Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32553

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