VELaGradE: Utilizing open simulator as a virtual learning environment for basic landscape grading education Conference

Örnek, MA, Özer, E. (2014). VELaGradE: Utilizing open simulator as a virtual learning environment for basic landscape grading education .

cited authors

  • Örnek, MA; Özer, E



  • Although the use of different digital technologies has significantly increased in design education, our literature review showed that there have not been sufficient studies conducted on utilizing virtual worlds as learning tools in landscape architecture. The goal of this study is to facilitate learning of basic landscape grading principles by visualizing the content in a three-dimensional virtual environment and allowing students to learn through experiencing topographical conditions in such an environment. The earliest studies of educational usage of multi user virtual environments (MUVEs), Quest Atlantis (Barab et al., 2004) and RiverCity (Dade et al., 2004), were particularly developed for the education of science students. Both MUVEs helped students in developing scientific knowledge through the use of virtual worlds. In a recent study, Gül et al. (2012) conducted an experimental project on collaborative learning activity between architecture students in two geographically-dispersed universities. In this study, the MUVE platform was used as a design and communication medium between the participating students for developing a design project from scratch. In our study, we utilized a virtual world through the use of Open Simulator platform, an opensource MUVE. Afterwards, we created a game-based virtual learning environment in which the students can learn basic landscape grading principles by completing a series of tasks through exploring the virtual world. Then, we conducted an exploratory study and evaluated the instructive and motivational effects of our proposed MUVE by gathering qualitative and quantitative data. The results indicate that employing MUVEs as didactic instruments within the landscape architecture education helps students to understand three-dimensional landforms by virtually experiencing them rather than reading the information from a traditional textbook.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014