Using Serious Games and Virtual Simulations in Construction Technology Education

Publisher:
Queensland University of Technology
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
Proceedings of the 19th CIB World Building Congress, 2013, pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
2013-01
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In tertiary construction education programs, it is becoming increasingly difficult to take students to site to obtain first hand experience of construction technology. This is especially the case with large classes, sites that have limited safety capacity to take students, and the general logistical problems of getting students to and from site. The brevity of site visits provides novelty but restricts the depth of learning. Computer gaming simulation offers a potential alternative. Though not the real thing, the simulation environment provides targeted activities and problems; it also offers the potential to engage students for long periods of time and in an immersive environment. This paper looks at the use of virtual simulation games available in construction and then focuses on the implementation of a specific type of simulation suited to construction technology and construction processes. It involves the hands-on virtual usage of site equipment including excavators, cranes, forklifts and concrete placement equipment in the context of an active construction site. Students control and manipulate the machinery according to assigned tasks. The pros, cons and educational merits of such an approach are analysed including student evaluation of the simulation as a learning vehicle.
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