Collaboration and Dialogue in Virtual Reality
“Virtual reality” adds a new dimension to constructivist problem-based learning (PBL) environments in the architectural and building construction educations, where a realistic and lifelike presence in a building enables students to assess and discuss how the various solutions interact with each other. Combined with “Building Information Models” (BIM), “Virtual Reality” provides an entirely new opportunity to innovate and optimize the architecture and construction in its early stages, which creates and iterative learning process. There are several studies where virtual simulation tools based on predefined tutorials are tested for their ability to facilitate collaborative processes. This study addresses the problem from a new angle by the virtual universe created through the students' own iterative design of a building. The “Virtual reality” system's narrative tale arises spontaneously through the dialogue. The result of this study shows that “Virtual Reality”, as a tool, creates some changes in the dialogue conditions which affect the learning process. The use of “Virtual Reality” requires a very precise framing about the system's ability to facilitate a collaborative learning process. The analysis identifies several clear opportunities about incorporating gamification mechanisms known from e.g. video games software.
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