Immersive digital technologies simulate key aspects of the physical world to provide visual, aural, haptic and other cues to the user that create a keen sense of presence or being in the simulated situation. There is broad potential application for such immersive technologies in construction, including the delivery of managed first-person experiences of construction activities where access to actual situations may be problematic or risky. The Situation Engine is an application that makes specific and adaptive practical experience available to users in a hyper-immersive digital rendition of a real-world context. This paper will describe a particular application of the Situation Engine to teaching undergraduate architecture and building students about domestic construction technology in Australia. The paper also reports on a student survey evaluating a trial of situational e-learning with 150 undergraduate students, gauging their views on of their learning experiences with the Situation Engine. There was strongest agreement that this video game technology is useful to a specific understanding of design and/or construction practice, with some reservations over the approach as a replacement for actual work experience.
Full Text (PDF)