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Implementing digital visualization technology within AEC education: a pedagogical intervention




Shull, Kacie, author
Killingsworth, John, advisor
Elliott, Jonathan W., committee member
Olbina, Svetlana, committee member
Malinin, Laura, committee member

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As the years progressed, the discipline of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) continues to evolve in education and the practice due to advances in digital visualization technology—specifically in the virtual presentations. Research has shown that digital visualization influences end-users by facilitating productive and efficient communication between stakeholders in the built environment. Digital visualizations tools give the AEC professionals and the building end-users the ability to access information quickly and easily while promoting visualization of information in a three-dimensional configuration rather than multiple two-dimensional drawings. Not only has research shown that digital visualization has influenced the professional community, but it has also changed the context in how the higher education is taught in the AEC fields of study. In today's professional society, a common fundamental skill expected in the workforce is the knowledge of the latest software technology used in the industry: such as Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD, and SketchUp. In addition, students are expected to communicate and receive information from the latest technology and understand the graphic communications in the workforce by using their spatial cognition. Studies have shown that when individuals use three-dimensional software programs, a person's spatial cognition scientifically improves and they can mentally visualize two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and four-dimensional drawings. By using previous studies that focus on the importance of educating students by engaging them to virtual presentations and digital formatting software, this research was tested first-year AEC students during the fall 2017 on how developed their spatial cognition is with an eight-question quiz that challenges their spatial cognition abilities. Before the pedagogical intervention of their first-year drafting course, which incorporates with the latest industry technology, a quiz was sent to all participants of this research during the beginning of the fall 2017 semester. After the pedagogical intervention, the same eight-question quiz sent out to the same participants at the end of the fall 2017 semester to see if their spatial cognition improved from their first-year drafting course. By comparing the pre-quiz scores to the post-quiz score, this research was able to determine if the curriculum being taught is making an impact on the student and are helping them prepare for a successful career in the AEC field. The framework for this research focused on the academia digital visualization technology influenced by the pedagogical approaches in higher education and the student's learning in the AEC higher education. This study focused on how digital visualization tools influence a student's spatial cognition within an entry-level drafting course. This was achieved with an eight-question quiz that was given to the students twice; once in the beginning of the fall 2017 semester and again at the end of the fall 2017 semester.


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