Virtual Reality for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Engineering Education
Reported and Photographed by FEED student journalist, Choo Jin Yeong
by Choo Jin Yeong
Congratulations to Dr Wong Jing Ying and her team on being selected as one of the recipients of Lord Dearing Award 2018 for her work on “Virtual Reality for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Engineering Education.” The award is certainly a recognition of their outstanding contribution in enhancing the students learning experience at The University of Nottingham. The team is comprised of 4 prominent staffs including Dr Wong Jing Ying (Team Leader), Professor Andy Chan, Dr Yong Su Ting and Dr Kok Sien Ti which is supported by “UNMC Teaching & Learning Research Funding 2017”. A group of students has also acted as a supporting team which includes Mohammed Tareq Mohammed Ali, Essameldin Mohammed Gouda and Mohammed Osman Mohammed Abdelghany. FEED Student Report Choo Jin Yeong met with Dr Wong this week to find out more about her work leading to the award.
Thoughts on receiving the award
As in previous years, the field was very strong and the judging panel has been facing difficulty in determining who should receive an award. Receiving this award is, therefore, a strong endorsement of their commitment to excellent teaching and learning practice.
“It’s such a great honour for our team to receive the Lord Dearing Award.”
How does Virtual Reality play a part in teaching Building Information Modelling?
The team has integrated building information model and virtual reality in teaching Civil Engineering through “blended learning.” The notion is that the students can sit inside a classroom, but walk virtually inside the models (by wearing the oculus) and evaluate every nook and cranny of something that does not exist physically, e.g. concealed conduits, wiring and building services. By moving the cursor, all the specifications and information will be shown in front of the user. In real life, it is very difficult and inconvenient to show the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) system of a building to the students. However, with virtual reality, it is all possible.
Impact of Virtual Reality on Civil Engineering learning
This approach to teaching has produced a positive impact on learning. First and foremost, students are relatively more enthusiastic to improve their design models after finding out their weaknesses in virtual reality, which was difficult, if not impossible, in conventional architectural drawings. Apart from that, virtual reality promotes collaborative learning as it allows lecturers/students based in different geographic locations to collaboratively design, review, test and validate projects virtually.
How does Virtual Reality benefit students?
With virtual reality, it has indeed resulted in a major breakthrough in engineering education. Immersive interactions, stereoscopic 3D, real-time multisensory simulations, virtual explorations, synchronous communications, data analytics and visual analysis – all these are hardly possible without the virtual reality. Virtual reality furnishes a student-centred learning environment that promotes active and collaborative learning, situated within simulated real-world contexts. Students could explore their intellectual curiosity in ways that are seemingly impossible in traditional classroom settings. The unique blend of virtual reality and live virtual interaction creates powerful and immersive learning experiences that engage students in deeper learning.
About Lord Dearing Award
The Lord Dearing Awards celebrate the world-class contribution made by a wide range of University staffs who have enhanced the students learning experience. Each year 20 awards are made to teaching staff and 10 to staff from other areas such as technical or support staff. Nominations for an award can be made by staffs or students.
by Jin Yeong Choo on Thursday, 17 May 2018
Filed under Faculty News