Virtual reality proved its worth long back in the gaming industry. However, there is no doubt that it is equally worthy in the education sector.
The global VR market in education is expected to grow at the rate of 42.9% for the forecast period 2019 to 2026. The projection says that it will touch the US $13098.2 by 2026.
The data is enough to prove swift adaptation in the education industry.
Civil engineering is also one field that is taking advantage of VR engineering and VR labs to improve the quality of education and delivery of knowledge.
Engineers are the primary workforce responsible for designing and developing the entire infrastructure around us, such as roads, bridges, buildings, and water resources. They are the ones who enable transportation.
Reports say there is a requirement for more than 4 million civil engineers alone in India. However, we only have 1.5 million civil engineers.
This deficit can be blamed for lack of good infrastructure in India.
However, the good news is the figures can be improved with better education delivery in civil engineering with the help of VR engineering, and VR labs.
VR in civil engineering
With the help of VR, educators develop an educational didactic model for the civil engineering branch.
Didactics is a method of teaching that uses factual information.
Didactic Therapy Promotes Rational Thinking, which aids problem-solving and analysis in an individual’s life. Didactic methods promote more responsible and reliable behavior, improving overall self-discipline and personal confidence.
Students can use virtual reality to identify the design and development of a construction site with a 360-degree view. It assists students in comprehending the complexities of various situations based on topographical features and project requirements.
Using a VR model makes it possible to view the physical evolution of the work, follow the planned construction sequence, and visualize details of the form of each component of the piece.
Furthermore, it provides leverage for the investigation of the type and method of operation of the equipment required for these construction procedures.
With a distinct advantage, virtual reality models have great potential as educational aids in first-year Civil Engineering courses.
VR application and teaching
As previously discussed, VR has become popular in the education sector, including branches of engineering; therefore, it is critical to adapt a shift from theoretical knowledge to practical studies in civil engineering as well. By incorporating VR technology into civil engineering, you allow students to gain insight into the practical aspects of the subject and arm themselves with some practical tools to understand it better.
Better educational model
The use of VR makes it easier to replicate the real-life construction model. Furthermore, these models have a great 3D view that allows the student to understand better. For example, suppose a student is studying dam design. In that case, they must consider the force of the water, topography, geological conditions, spillway size and location, earthquake zone, and dam’s height.
Traditional studies require students to only study the theory because it is not possible to visit the actual construction site and learn things. However, VR has the potential to improve things. Students can study practical cases in the classroom while also learning to use various tools.
Room for innovation
Students can quickly complete their course design in the virtual scene using the interaction function of the VR technique. The technology enables the student to target the structure and comprehend it more thoroughly. It also aids in understanding the entire procedure.
Furthermore, VR can connect to a computer and assist users in identifying their knowledge through the revision and review process. It is possible that they will receive suggestions for improvement based on their interactions with the system.
Improvement in skills
Practice is the most effective way to master the skills. The use of virtual experiment modules can improve operational capability. Some experiments necessitate repeated practice to master specific skills. Furthermore, some experiments may result in facility wear and material consumption, both of which increase the cost of the experiment. Virtual reality comes to the rescue here.
With virtual reality, you can conduct countless experiments and case studies to improve your skills and efficiency.
Combining advanced virtual and real-world physical experiments to improve students’ experimental skills is an effective teaching method.
Advantage of field practice
It is critical for civil engineers to combine theory and practice, which is why field practice is essential in civil engineering education. However, visiting a real area is not always possible. Although some important field trips are required, they are not as numerous as they should be. This reduces the student’s learning curve.
However, virtual reality allows the student to return to the virtual site as many times as necessary to revise the entire construction situation. Furthermore, when compared to actual field research, VR is less expensive. Many student problems can be solved using VR techniques in the field.
Because of its rapid development and progression, virtual reality has significantly impacted civil engineering. It promises numerous advantages in the fields of engineering and civil engineering, as well as higher education. The results of traditional classrooms and VR differ significantly. VR-based teaching comes with experimental instruction and also has field practice that is a boon for students, as they help to quench their thirst for knowledge while also allowing them to hone their skills before entering the real world.
VR not only helps to relieve stress but also encourages rational thinking and experiential learning.
Furthermore, it has the potential to shift educational patterns away from teacher-centered and more into active learning. No doubt combining VR and AR techniques with other cutting-edge technologies commonly used in other application fields can yield better results. As a result, VR labs and VR engineering are essential technologies in higher education and civil engineering.