USING VIDEO AND 3-D VIRTUAL MODELS TO ENHANCE LEARNING WITHIN A LAB SETTING: POTENTIAL AND CAVEATS FOR A UK ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATE MODULE

I. Ntonia, J. Richardson

City University London (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Undergraduate training of engineers has historically been heavily-reliant on the use of laboratory-based teaching setups (Boud, Dunn, & Hegarty - Hazel, 1986). Such setups are meant to enhance students’ learning experiences by equipping them with hands-on, practical and applicable discipline-specific knowledge (Boud, Dunn, Kennedy, & Thorley, 1980). At the same time, such setups require high-frequency contact time and expensive or sensitive equipment on the part of Universities, while also making high attention demands on the part of the student (Boud et al., 1980). To add to this, these lab sessions – although pivotal to engineering students’ professional development - typically raise negative student feedback on two fronts: students having to rely only on their notes for revision without being able to recap/revisit the session, and courses including large numbers of graduate students/teaching assistants to deliver the labs, which often leads to learning experience inconsistencies across lab groups (Maćias, 2012). This poster will outline a multimedia-based educational technology project developed to address such recurring issues in engineering lab teaching, and will also outline future suggestions for incorporating 3-D virtual models and augmented reality learning resources. In developing this project, we draw on evidence from similar successful enhancements to lab-based undergraduate teaching in other STEM disciplines (Herrmann-Werner et al., 2013; Maćias, 2012). The use of video was identified as a suitable medium for conveying the learning outcomes, experiment process and the requirements of analysis that would follow. Educational Technologists worked alongside academics to storyboard the video to ensure alignment to the sessions’ individual learning outcomes. Three videos were subsequently produced with students being able to access these before, during and after the lab sessions so as to prepare and consolidate their knowledge of the practical work required. The present poster will also outline the current developments on this project, which sees the incorporation of augmented reality and 3-D virtual modelling for usage alongside the video recordings. With this, we aim to provide a complete, technology-enhanced learning portfolio for undergraduate engineering students, so as to effectively meet the practical, logistical and theoretical caveats which are typically part and parcel to STEM subject lab-based teaching. Finally, the poster will highlight implementation implications and discuss the generalizability potential of this technology-enabled approach to STEM subjects and beyond.