San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1451.1 - 25.1451.12
Utilizing a Collaborative Virtual Reality Environment as a Training Tool for Construction StudentsAbstractStudents graduating from a Construction Management degree or similar entering theindustry must know how to properly manage time, materials, personnel and equipment oncomplex construction projects. Unfortunately, in most cases construction students are notexposed enough to realistic construction project experience during their time at today’suniversities, leaving them with a preparation that does not fully realize their capability toface the challenges of real-world project management. The purpose of this paper is todescribe the results of a pilot project that was carried out in order to address this problem.The project involved designing and creating an interactive learning experience within theSecond Life virtual reality environment that gives construction students a realisticexperience with construction event sequences and resource management. This projectmerged the use of virtual reality environments to simulate real-life construction projectswith the perspective of using gaming tools as genuine means of education in theuniversity setting. Once a playable interactive learning experience was completed it wastested with the help of a small sample of construction students. Due to the visualinteractivity and gaming style, it was hypothesized that the use of a virtual realityenvironment such as Second Life to design and create an interactive learning experiencewould prove to be very useful for construction students to learn about and gainexperiences in project scheduling. In support of this hypothesis, it was predicted that theresults of the experiment would show that the construction students who participated didin fact learn something and gained construction experience from their time using theinteractive learning experience. While the technical questions were inconclusiveregarding whether or not the students learned anything, the opinion questions showed avery positive outlook. The participants, who each reported that they gained most of theirconstruction experience from onsite work, unanimously agreed that they gained realisticconstruction project experience from their time using the interactive learning experienceand would be interested in using virtual reality environments in the future.
Sulbaran, T., & Jones, L. F. (2012, June), Utilizing a Collaborative Virtual Reality Environment as a Training Tool for Construction Students Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22208
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