Creative Geotechnical Engineering Education Module Based on an Educational Game Using Multiphysics Enriched Mixed Reality

Luo Bin Cui, Weiling Cai, Ryan Hare, Chen Chen Huang, Ying Tang, Cheng Zhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This work-in-progress paper discusses the development of an educational game to provide integrated geotechnical engineering education modules that connect theoretical concepts, laboratory testing, field investigation, and engineering design. The game, Earth Trek, is developed based on the design of geothermal piles, which are an innovative and sustainable geotechnical engineering approach to combat climate change. Virtual reality is applied to visualize the field environments, laboratory conditions, and design components for structural simulation. The game uses a combination of storytelling and tasks to engage students with geotechnical concepts in an enjoyable way. With the newly developed game, geotechnical engineering instructors can provide students with exposure to laboratory testing and field environments, improving the quality of geotechnical engineering education. The use of multiphysics enriched mixed reality gaming allows for a visual representation of the connections between theoretical concepts, laboratory testing, field investigation, and engineering design. Additionally, this study discusses the challenges that geotechnical students face when dealing with worldwide concerns such as energy demand, environmental protection, infrastructure sustainability, and hazard reduction. Earth Trek allows students to apply geotechnical engineering knowledge to explore the underground space and the associated geothermal energy to tackle the engineering problems using only their smartphones. Through exploring the virtual environment and completing game tasks, students can obtain different testing tools used for geotechnical experiments, including thermal conductivity measurement and direct shear test. They are also trained to conduct parametric study to explore the influence of boundary conditions on thermal transfer efficiency of the geothermal pile. The key contribution of this work is to illustrate an educational paradigm based on mixed reality, moving towards creative engineering education in geotechnical engineering. The newly developed educational game and Earth Trek are expected to enhance geotechnical engineering education and provide students with an interdisciplinary knowledge to tackle worldwide concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2023 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2023 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9798350336429
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023 - College Station, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2023Oct 21 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Conference

Conference53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Station
Period10/18/2310/21/23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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