Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 549-556
ISBN: 978-84-09-55942-8
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2023.0200
Conference name: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 13-15 November, 2023
Location: Seville, Spain
Improving the learning process of construction and rehabilitation is one of the current teaching challenges in studies related to buildings. Most students have difficulties in understanding how construction parts - foundations, load-bearing elements, ducts and services, etc. - materialize, because they are seldomly visible in finished buildings. Current related learning resources, which present these parts using figures and explanations, are not comprehensible enough for construction and rehabilitation students, who consider site visits as crucial activities. However, visits to construction sites carry several issues: safety risks that imply specific insurances and equipment, transport of visitors, inaccessibility for visitors with reduced mobility or the limitations of only watching the site at a specific single day.

This situation can improve by increasing the digitalization of the architecture learning resources, which is favored by digital interests and skills of the current students. For instance, with the incorporation of augmented reality visits to works in a Metaverse environment that can complement existing learning activities. Although Metaverses are not common in learning processes yet, they have numerous strengths like their capacity to show complex or abstract ideas and construct immersive learning environments for education while friendly interacting with users. Most former projects work with non-real environments, created with the objective to show and work with something that does not exist and, for example, could exist in the future. Contrarily, this paper focuses on augmented reality experiences in a building that does exist and was documented during all its construction process, so that learners can experience this process at anytime and anywhere. This difference is the main novelty of this research, which differs from former learning environments using augmented reality to model non-existing or future architecture.

This research is the main result of a competitive funded research project developed at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. This paper presents the definition and application of a new method to construct and improve metaverse environments for learning new building and rehabilitation processes in studies related to architecture. This paper is part of the previously mentioned project, which expects to improve the learning process of future architects and building professionals with the incorporation to the classes of construction and rehabilitation realities in a pedagogic manner and optimizing the teaching resources. This method has been successfully developed a new environment based on augmented reality. Students can safely visit this environment using laptops, cellphones and virtual reality glasses in classrooms during lectures and practical activities, as well as outside class to review the course contents, do self-learning activities, etc. The satisfaction of the new environment is high by the educational community that has tested it. A holistic evaluation process, combining a multi-criteria decision-making method with surveys, has assessed this new learning resource. The main strengths of this new learning environment are related to its application and inclusion. The results also show some issues that future steps plan to solve by following neuroeducation theories to decrease users’ potential nuisances as well as introducing mixed reality to optimize users’ perception and learning process.
Digital learning, 360 panorama environments, architecture, construction, MIVES.