Exploiting gamification and virtual reality
This project aimed to demonstrate and prototype new game-inspired apps and online resources in order to increase awareness and knowledge of the engineering disciplines, and enhance fundamental engineering skills and technical competencies relevant across university degree programmes. The project focused on three areas:
- University-level education on common engineering technical themes particularly relevant to widening participation in postgraduate taught programmes
- Work-transition/transferrable skills development for cross-functional skills – such as advanced communication, presentation, professional ethics and teamwork – relevant to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes
- Late primary school/early secondary school level education on the nature of engineering and its role and impact on society (i.e. primary outreach).
The original project, ‘Gamification in engineering education: From primary outreach to work transition’ was funded by a HEFCE Catalyst Fund in 2016.
One of the outcomes of the project has been the development of a Virtual Chemical Engineering Pilot Plant, based on Surrey’s Fluor Pilot Plant, which is one of the only facilities of its kind at a UK university. This VR simulation allowed students to gain experience in operating the plant without being exposed to dangers and without having direct access to the plant and the resources that entails.