A study on collaborative design as a teaching tool for architectural design
Breland, J. and Shiratuddin, M.F. (2009) A study on collaborative design as a teaching tool for architectural design. In: 16th International Conference on Learning, 1 - 4 July, Barcelona, Spain
Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) are virtual environments that support synchronized multi-participants activities. In a CVE, a participant is able to co-exist within the same virtual time and space with another participant, and able to witness what others are doing. As such, collaboration among architectural designers and other project participants can be enhanced in a CVE. A CVE can be used as an aid to teach design in a more engaging learning environment where students are actively contributing to the design process, as well as helping one another. We believe a CVE is more efficient and help catch potential errors quickly by having more perspectives on each part of the design phase. We have developed a prototype software application; the Collaborative World Design Tool (CWDT) which we are using to investigate the benefits of collaborative design and its potential use as a teaching tool. CWDT utilizes the Torque 3D Game Engine; a game development tool that allows users to create 3D Virtual Environments and typically play 3D oriented games. We have adopted and modified the 3D game engine for this research. We performed an experiment to determine the effects of using a CVE for design rather than more traditional design methods. We investigated the use of CVEs as teaching tools to help create a more engaging and hands-on learning environment. The experiment compared students who collaborate by working together in the same space at the same time in the design process within a CVE, with those who were working individually.
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