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Evaluating immersive and non-immersive VR for spatial understanding in undergraduate construction education

Nikolic, D. and Windess, B. (2019) Evaluating immersive and non-immersive VR for spatial understanding in undergraduate construction education. In: Advances in ICT in Design, Construction and Management in Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO), CIB W78, 18-20 Sept 2020, Newcastle, UK, pp. 1013-1021.

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In this paper we explore a pedagogical value of using immersive vir-tual reality to teach construction students how to identify and evaluate the spa-tial characteristics of their design in terms of sizes, layout or structural issues. This study builds on the premise that virtual reality, though generally valuable for design understanding, cannot be treated as a monolithic system when it comes to evaluating its effectiveness for tasks that differ in their objectives. The study extends the work of similar studies that have looked into the claimed ben-efits of immersion, stereoscopy or interactivity on visual perception and spatial cognition. We compared a desktop-based environment with a fully immersive virtual reality in the form of a wearable VR headset to see if there are any no-ticeable differences in how students review and evaluate spaces. Thirty-two par-ticipants from the first year undergraduate construction program were tasked to walk through a small residential house that incorporated up to 12 intentional de-sign mistakes in terms of the size, layout, position or structural oversight. Initial results suggest that the students using the HMD-type of VR slightly better per-form compared to those using the monitor. However, observations of students’ interactions with the model while completing the tasks suggest a greater com-plexity in how the navigation patterns, domain knowledge and technology expe-rience may be affecting the way they perceive the design.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:93677


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