Beginning to develop and assess engineering judgment through mixed reality game-based learning

Richtarek, Alyssa
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Uchida, Shun
Abdoun, Tarek
Zastavker, Yevgeniya, V.
Bennett, Victoria Gene
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Civil engineering
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
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Geotechnical engineering requires successfully interpreting field conditions to design an appropriate solution, but how engineers accrue the judgment required to make appropriate decisions is a research area still in its adolescence. Members of industry posit that engineering experience is essential for competent engineering practice and the development of this engineering judgment. Many undergraduate engineering courses and curricula are deficient in opportunities to acquire such experience. Building on previous work that shows students can learn through virtual experiences as well as in person experiences, the GeoExplorer project consists of mixed reality “mock internship” modules that allow students to get preliminary experience with field testing before ever stepping foot in the field. However, it is not entirely clear what kinds of experience build engineering judgment and defining engineering judgment in the context of practicing engineering does not immediately map to relevant competencies. To inform an assessment tool that serves students and educators in developing engineering judgment, other perspectives must be engaged. Looking at the overlap of accepted assessment of critical thinking competencies with those required for engineering judgment, as determined by practicing engineers, can be used to inform the development of engineering judgment. Focusing on the intersection of geotechnical engineering, engineering education, and game design, the newest GeoExplorer module is being designed to both develop and assess gains in engineering judgment. The distinguishing features between critical thinking and engineering judgment were used to begin developing a cogent definition of engineering judgment competencies and an effective means to assess these competencies in students within the context of the GeoExplorer modules.
December 2021
School of Engineering
Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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