Use of Digital Objects for Improving the Learning Process

Use of Digital Objects for Improving the Learning Process

Olga Ovtšarenko (TTK University of Applied Sciences, Estonia), Elena Safiulina (TTK University of Applied Sciences, Estonia), Daiva Makuteniene (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania) and Edgaras Timinskas (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1591-4.ch016

Abstract

Effective integration of virtual technologies is aimed at improving the quality of education. It is very important to form trends of study at the initial stage of education. This document presents the first steps in the project “Development of a Virtual Learning Environment in Technical Higher Education,” jointly funded by the Erasmus program, which includes institutions from four countries: Estonia, Lithuania, Turkey, and Poland, for 24 months. It aims to create a digital house simulator and a set of training materials for construction specialties freshmen. The tasks of this simulator are to give a learner the opportunity to independently obtain knowledge about the details of the structure through the internet without special equipment. Learning through the virtual house model will help students develop spatial thinking, which is necessary for success in graphics and engineering in general. This, in turn, will increase their professional competence, since spatial visualization refers to the curriculum for all industrial technologies and engineering programs.
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Background

Using models in the learning process is not considered a new method. Models have been used for a long time and are well-established features in education (Bartlett, & Amsler, 1979). Simulators are used in all branches of the educational process, from elementary grades to higher educational institutions. The education goal of this practice is to give students better comprehension of the studying materials in a “real environment” (Oberhofer, 1999). Currently, almost all simulators are computerized and include multi-step algorithms that evaluate the effectiveness of actions based on decisions made. Most simulators are based on real industrial processes, and therefore they use real data to be as accurate as possible and provide a realistic experience. As a consequence, simulations and games make the learning process more efficient (Akinsola, & Animasahun, 2007) and significantly reduce learning time (Allessi, & Trollip, 2001).

The last 20 years there are many simulations and modelling, which covering virtually every phase of the specific construction product development (e.g. planning, design, cost estimation, scheduling, fabrication, construction, maintenance and facility management) in the construction industry (Whyte, Bouchlaghem, Thorpe, & McCaffer, 2000; Popov, Juocevicius, Migilinskas, Ustinovichius, & Mikalauskas, 2010). At the last years, there are occurs some construction education simulators, too. Their goal is to improve engineering education in building and infrastructure design and construction through the use of interactive construction learning modules. All of them are made using the 4D CAD idea - 3D CAD with schedule time as the 4th dimension (Messner, Riley, & Horman, 2005; Clayton, Warden, & Parker, 2002).

The idea of the simulator’ creating is the simplicity of its usage. A student does not need either the knowledge and skills of three-dimensional modelling no the availability of a licensed program. A simulator has to be done as a web page that opens quickly and also quickly responds to user requests, having the same possibilities of turning, scaling, viewing an object in parts, and using cutting planes that provide specialized viewing software.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Spatial Visualization: The ability to think in three dimensions and more specifically, to mentally maneuver two- and three-dimensional objects.

Engineering Education: The activity of teaching knowledge and principles to the professional practice of engineering.

Simulator: A device that approximately recreates the work of a process or system for training, design, or other purposes.

Digital Media: Any kind of media, that are encoded in machine-readable formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, and preserved using digital electronics devices.

Energy-Efficient House: Building that provide reducing energy use and a higher level of comfort to its occupants. Energy-efficient houses also fight against increasing greenhouse gases and global warming.

Near-Zero Energy House: Building that has very high energy performance. The low amount of energy that these buildings require comes mostly from renewable sources.

3D Model: A 3D digital representation of any object or surface, which can be generated automatically or created using special software / program to manipulate points in virtual space (called vertices) to form a mesh: a collection of vertices that form an object.

Digihouse: A digital or virtual building object, made in full size and consisting of the required number of structures.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): A web-based platform for the digital aspects of courses of study with theoretical resources, activities and interactions within a course structure, which provide for the different stages of training and assessment.

Dynamic System: A system that changes and develops as a result of certain causes and mechanisms.

Life-Long Learning: A process aimed at creating and maintaining a positive attitude towards learning for both personal and professional development.

Tailor-Made House: A ground floor family house for a family of 4-5 people. The building is based on a rectangular plan with a protruding part of the living room and kitchen. The whole is covered by a hipped roof.

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