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Struct-MRT: Immersive Learning and Teaching of Design and Verification in Structural Civil Engineering using Mixed Reality

by   Michael Kraus, et al.

Our goal is to transform traditional paper-based instruction into an immersive lesson. This paper presents the conception, workflow and deployment of two MR applications for verification of typical yet geometrically complex structural members: a reinforced concrete corbel and a steel frame. The aim of this research is threefold: (i) to develop and implement the technological feasibility of such applications, (ii) to demonstrate possible use cases in the context of structural engineering lectures and (iii) to evaluate the presented MR examples and the future potential of such MR applications in structural engineering lectures through a survey. The workflow and MR teaching applications were developed with Apple's ARKit. The verification process was reproduced in the MR applications based on conventional exercises taught on paper. Users can navigate independently through the applications and review every single step, including a true-to-scale, spatial representation of the specific component as well as associated verification formulas in the respective step. The applications were used to assess the demand and expectations for immersive teaching techniques among students and instructors through a survey. The participants were asked to test the MR applications on their devices or watch pre-recorded video demonstrations, afterwards perception was elicited through a questionnaire. The results of subsequent data analysis show generally positive judgement of the MR application over the six questioned categories (style, usefulness, ease of use, enjoyment, attitude as well as intention towards using). The statistical analysis revealed (positivity) biases for users with prior XR experience w.r.t. to usage and navigation, while inexperienced users underlined increased enjoyment or excitement with this learning format. The outlook covers identified shortcomings and future developments in this field.


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