Publications / 2017 Proceedings of the 34rd ISARC, Taipei, Taiwan

Assessing the Effectiveness of Augmented Reality on the Spatial Skills of Postsecondary Construction Management Students in the U.S.

Jeff Kim and Javier Irizarry
Pages 173-180 (2017 Proceedings of the 34rd ISARC, Taipei, Taiwan, ISBN 978-80-263-1371-7, ISSN 2413-5844)

There is a continual challenge within the construction industry to achieve schedule, budget, and quality expectations at a time when projects are more complex and their designs and assembly involve some measure of abstract spatial skills. In postsecondary institutions, these abstract spatial skills have routinely been taught through drafting and plan reading courses. The outcomes of this approach often fall short of meeting the needs of industry, therefore an alternative solution is necessary. As such, this research advocates the use of a group of technologies, collectively known as augmented reality, which allows one to view the “real” world with the addition of information intended to provide a new understanding of what is being seen. Augmented reality is fast proving advantageous in many industries (e.g. Architecture, Robotics, Entertainment, and Military). With the availability of smaller, more powerful consumer mobile devices, augmented reality can become a ubiquitous, practical tool for the construction industry as well. Research surrounding augmented reality is primarily focused on ways to improve the construction process; however, this study is focused on improving the learning process. The researcher studied the use of a mobile augmented reality tool during a spatial skills classroom assignment to determine if there was an improvement in the accuracy of these skills and retention of the concepts over time. A separate analysis was conducted to determine if the teaching tool was a benefit or disruption to the overall learning experience. The research and analysis resulted in significantly improved assessment scores for the group utilizing the mobile augmented reality tool during their completion of the spatial skills assignment. Additionally, a post-survey indicated that the introduction of this tool was non-disruptive to the students’ overall learning experience. Therefore, the addition of these technologies, as a complement to drafting and plan reading, can enhance the postsecondary educational preparation of the future construction industry workforce.

Keywords: Augmented Reality, Student Learning, Construction Management, Spatial Skill, Active Learning