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Web-based Game vs. Virtual Reality Field Surveying Labs Towards Enhancing Experiential Education

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Cooperative and Experiential Education Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38037

Download Count

152

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Paper Authors

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Dimitrios Bolkas Pennsylvania State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1269-8704

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Dimitrios Bolkas, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor of Surveying Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, Wilkes-Barre Campus. He has a diverse geodetic and geoscientific experience that includes terrestrial, mobile, and airborne laser scanning, digital elevation models, unmanned aerial systems, GNSS networks, geoid and gravity-field modeling. His main research interest is on building methods to increase, understand, and assess the quality/uncertainty in 3D geospatial datasets. His research develops new methods and techniques to enhance functionality of 3D geospatial data and models. In addition, recent research interests include utilizing 3D data for creating realistic environments in immersive virtual reality, as well as the application of virtual reality in engineering education.

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Mojgan A. Jadidi York University

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Dr Mojgan Jadidi is an assistant professor at Lassonde school of Engineering, Geomatics engineering program who embraces the power of location turn to knowledge discovery for better and informed decision making in the context of smart buildings, infrastructures and cities. Dr Jadidi’s research interest include Building Information Model (BIM) and 3D GIS Integration, Spatial Graph and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Geospatial Knowledge discovery and Data Mining in 2D and 3D spaces for applications of Smart Environmental/Building/Cities and Intelligent Transportation. Also, she has passion for engineering education using virtual reality and gamification technologies and learning analytics. Her research has been funded by multiple grants from NSERC, Mitacs, COMREN, Academic Innovation Fund (AIF), and internal York University funds. She is currently associate Director of ESRI Center of Excellence at York University.

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Jeffrey Chiampi Pennsylvania State University

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Mr. Chiampi is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University Wilkes-Barre campus. He holds master degrees in Business Administration and Software Engineering. He regularly teaches courses in computer science, game development, and information sciences and technology. Before coming to Penn State Mr. Chiampi worked in the information technology industry for over 10 years. His primary research interest is the application of Virtual Reality (VR) on engineering education. He recently received funding to create a VR lab to investigate the extent VR can be used to augment surveying education.

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Muhammad Usman York University

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Muhammad Usman is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University. He received his PhD (2020) degree and MSc (2016) degree in Computer Science from York University. His research interests include human-building interaction, crowd steering behaviors in virtual environments, computer-aided architectural design tools, spatial analysis of environments, spatial visualizations, and virtual reality.

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Abstract

Introductory surveying engineering courses include several outdoor labs that introduce students to proper use instruments and equipment. Through practice and experiential learning students develop technical skills and learn about surveying techniques and methods. In addition, through review and reflection of their surveys, students are able to reinforce concepts learned in lectures. Outdoor labs have several challenges such as being affected by weather leading to cancellations that disrupt the educational process. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges and forced virtualization of outdoor labs. Development of virtual and immersive technologies in the past decade have sparked applications in engineering education, offering viable alternatives, and enhancing traditional instructional approaches. Indeed, virtual reality and gamification technologies offer different learning approaches while various learning outcome can be achieved. In this paper two promising approaches, Web-based game and virtual reality, for virtualization of experiential educations and remote field delivery have been investigated. This study uses data collected in different institutions but in similar introductory surveying courses. The first dataset is from civil engineering students who used a game-based Web application to simulate topographic surveying. Being a game-based implementation, emphasis is placed on following best field practices rather than faithful replication of surveying instruments. The second dataset is from surveying engineering students who completed leveling labs in immersive and interactive virtual reality using Oculus hardware. The environment and instrument were faithfully modeled in Unity from their physical counterparts, giving a sense of realism. Both game-based and virtual reality approaches have different advantages and disadvantages, that makes them effective in different learning settings. A comparison of these two approaches demonstrates the synergies of future integrated implementation. Lessons learned will help instructors in understanding and identifying the proper technology to address experiential educational challenges that are related with virtually training engineering students.

Bolkas, D., & Jadidi, M. A., & Chiampi, J., & Usman, M. (2021, July), Web-based Game vs. Virtual Reality Field Surveying Labs Towards Enhancing Experiential Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38037

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