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The role of virtual reality and 3D modelling in built environment education

By Margaret Horne and Emine Mine Thompson


This study builds upon previous research on the integration of Virtual Reality (VR) within the built environment curriculum and aims to investigate the role of Virtual Reality and three-dimensional (3D) computer modelling on learning and teaching in a school of the built environment. In order to achieve this aim a number of academic experiences were analysed to explore the applicability and viability of 3D computer modelling and Virtual Reality (VR) into built environment subject areas. Although two-dimensional representations have been greatly accepted by built environment professions and education, three-dimensional computer representations and VR applications, offering interactivity and immersiveness, are not yet widely accepted. The project builds on previous studies which focused on selecting and implementing appropriate VR strategies and technologies (Horne and Hamza, 2006) and offers an approach on how three-dimensional computer modelling and virtual reality may be integrated into built environment teaching. It identifies the challenges and perceived benefits of doing so by academic staff and reports on the systematic approach which was adopted by Northumbria University, School of the Built Environment, to raise awareness of VR technologies across the spectrum of built environment disciplines. A selection of case studies is presented which illustrate how VR and 3D modelling have been integrated to extend traditional forms of representation and enhance the students’ learning experience. The attitudes perceptions, opinions and concerns of academic staff in regards to use of 3D and VR technologies in their teaching are discussed

Topics: G900, K900
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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