Temasek Polytechnic were looking for ways to improve academic performance and overall learning and motivation in Polytechnic level Aerospace Engineering. Traditional teaching methods, such as reading textbooks and using two dimensional diagrams, are not keeping pace with changes in how students consume media and learn on their own. Specifically, Temasek was looking to overcome a lack of student attention in class, the cost required to provide physical equipment, and limited pieces of equipment to train on.
Improve Student Attention
Traditional teaching methods do not capture students attention and are often competing against more vivid forms of media such as television, social media, video games, and others. With attention spans shorter, teaching methods need to be more engaging and interactive to keep learners interested.
The costs of procuring and maintaining large equipment for training is exorbitant. As new engines come to market and new versions of older equipment become available, Temasek has to decide whether or not to purchase these pieces for their training programs. Additionally, Temasek can only have a few pieces of equipment due to the costs.
Limited Equipment for Training
Because of the limited supply of equipment, students have less than optimal amount of time to train on physical equipment. This really impacts the quality of learning as hands on experience is key to learning the principles of aerospace engineering.
Temasek Polytechnic and EON Reality partnered to create a series of applications designed to enhance training for Temasek’s aerospace students. These applications are designed to promote higher student engagement through interaction, improved knowledge retention, accessible remote education and enhance the overall learning experience. Students learn via a Virtual Reality Gas Turbine Engine about the fundamentals of GTE operations and more advanced operations. Instructors and students have the freedom to access these modules anywhere, anytime through Temasek’s Learning Management System, fostering a remote education environment.
Students are able to revisit subject matter and clarify concepts outside of a lecture setting through Virtual Reality. These VR lessons enable students to get hands on experience with the subject matter and builds on what they’ve learned in the classroom.
EON Reality’s artists were able, through the primary source materials, to create an accurate representation of Howard Carter’s expedition. In doing so, the application cuts through the myths surrounding Howard Carter’s journey and lets users experience the actual series of events leading up to the discovery. Users are able to see what it was really like to be there.
Hands on Learning
Students can access their own Engines for personal study anywhere and anytime through Temasek’s Learning Management System. By having a virtual Gas Turbine Engine available whenever needed, students are able to practice on their own schedule. This allows for places outside the classroom to become productive remote education environments.
Temasek performed a study to evaluate the performance of their EON Reality powered simulation modules. The results showed that students in a class that uses Virtual Reality in teaching perform significantly higher when tested versus students who use more traditional means of learning. The main area of improvement was an increase in the overall knowledge absorbed by students who used VR.
119 Aerospace Engineering students were split into two groups Control (60) and Experimental (59). These students had a mean GPA of 3.19 and were taking the same number of course hours during the fall semester. The Experimental group used four Virtual Reality based lesson modules.
To evaluate their performance, each group was given a test that comprised the following study areas: 32% Recall (16 marks), 32% Knowledge (16 marks), 36% Application (18 marks). The total score from Experimental group (M=32.58, SD = 6.376) was significantly higher than the Control group (M=30.04, SD = 6.086), p <.05, two tailed, equal variances assumed, Cohen’s d = 0.41, a small effect. The knowledge question score from Experimental group (M=11.64, SD = 2.671) was significantly higher than the Control group (M=9.97, SD=2.12), p<.05, two tailed, equal variances assumed, Cohen’s d = 0.71, a medium effect.
- Total score of students using Virtual Reality was significantly higher during a performance test (3 types of questions: Knowledge, Recall, Application)
- Score was significantly higher in the Knowledge category
- Students using Virtual Reality perceived that they were significantly more competent in the subject leading to improved motivation
- Students using Virtual Reality were better able to learn from each other
- Students exhibit more introjected regulatory behavior but less external regulatory behavior