San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1405.1 - 25.1405.12
Usability of a Collaborative Virtual Reality Environment Earthwork ExercisesAbstractA variety of visualization mediums are needed to help students comprehend a subjectmatter. Current visualization mediums include graphs, drawings, and various other twodimensional visual aids. While these mediums work for some students, others tend toneed a better visual to reiterate the concept. For example, students in buildingconstruction management courses depend on pen and paper pedagogy to learn how toproperly excavate a project site. Using pen and paper, these students answer questionsand get a response based on their answers in a form of a grade. According to the UnitedStates Department of Labor, excavating is "one of the most hazardous constructionoperations" (United States Department of Labor, 2011) which means students need abetter visualization than the grade as a result of the wrong choices of how to make theexcavation. For example, if the student was asked to use the Occupational Safety andHealth Administration (OSHA) rules in order to select the correct slope method for anexcavation in a given soil type they would simply select an answer based on theirunderstanding of OSHA soil types and excavation methods. The result of their answerusing the current pen and paper pedagogy would be either a red mark indicating theincorrect answer which would result in a grade deduction or a check mark indicating thecorrect answer without a deduction in grade. In real life, the consequence of selecting thewrong method of excavation would be more dangerous as it could cause a collapseresulting in employee injury (United States Department of Labor, 2011)The visual of a right or wrong answer that is provided to the student could be improvedby using a growing field in technology, simulations in Collaborative Virtual RealityEnvironments (CVRE). Simulations in CVRE provide the ability to implement anexcavation training simulator in a CVRE so that students could receive a visual andimmediate form of feedback in order to see how their answer could impact the excavationmethod they select. In addition to providing the students with feedback, they can alsointeract with other students or professor in order to discuss the meaning of the differentmethods or can be shown the right and wrong method through professor guidedexamples. While excavation training simulators exist, including the Southwest ResearchInstitute's Excavator Operator Training Simulator and The University of Hong KongimseCAVE, they were implemented using methods that might not provide the ability toquickly add features to the simulation while addressing the breadth and depth ofimmersion so the student will feel as if he or she is at the actual job site (Fisher, 2008,Chan, 2004, & Strickland, 2007). In order to prove that an excavation training simulatorcan act as a positive visual aid, it first must be usable. This paper discusses implementingand determining the usability of an excavation training simulator for Perdue University.
Duckworth, L., & Sulbaran, T., & Strelzoff, A. P. (2012, June), Usability of a Collaborative Virtual Reality Environment Earthwork Exercises Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22162
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