Newark, New Jersey
April 22, 2022
April 22, 2022
April 23, 2022
Our fully-integrated mixed reality game system, called multiphysics enriched mixed reality for integrated geotechnical education (MERGE), focuses on improving student education in the context of geotechnical engineering. This work allows students to participate in online learning in a more inclusive way while playing a game. The game is meant as an "integrated geotechnical learning experience". By providing students visualization, collaboration, and simulation tools, we hope to promote problem-solving and improved learning. A big part of that is leveraging mixed reality technology to improve student access to lab equipment. By gamifying the learning, we also focus on improving student interest in geotechnical engineering. Due to the virtual nature of the game, everyone will have access to the same lab equipment and the same opportunity to experience the material. They are also able to progress through the game at their own pace, which helps keep the interest of the students while they are learning. Learning by playing games is not a new concept, but the potential has not been reached yet. Our goal is to provide a fulfilling learning experience while keeping the students engaged in a fun game.
The MERGE platform is inspired by popular mixed reality games, allowing students to see computer-generated models superimposed into the world through the camera on their mobile device. Building on recent advancements in cyberinfrastructure, MERGE is meant to provide an attractive and motivating environment to support students’ geotechnical engineering skills. Throughout gameplay, students’ strategic thinking will be tested through carefully designed games that relate to geotechnical problems. Additionally, the game uses their GPS to create a map of the real world around them, giving players the ability to explore their local environment to advance their game progress. Initial gameplay mainly focuses on a lab assignment involved with the study, construction, and implementation of geothermal piles, which are special foundations that utilize the earth’s temperature to heat and cool the associated building. The main contribution of this work is a discussion of the educational technology and processes behind implementing a mixed reality educational game. We provide developmental insights and educational background as well as results from preliminary game testing to inform researchers who seek to develop similar games.
Tang, Y., & Zhu, C., & Hare, R., & Ziesse, T., & Peterson, C., & Huang, C. (2022, April), Mixed Reality Game for Active Geotechnical Engineering Learning Paper presented at 2022 Spring ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Conference, Newark, New Jersey. https://peer.asee.org/40059
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