Use of Virtual Reality to Improve Engagement and Self-Efficacy in Architectural Engineering Disciplines

Ece Erdogmus, Erica Ryherd, Heidi A. Diefes-Dux, Catherine Armwood-Gordon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


This Innovative Practice Full Paper presents findings from the implementation of a virtual reality-based learning module. In the Fall of 2020, a prototype for a novel intervention namely, Virtual/Augmented-Reality-Based Discipline Exploration Rotations (VADERs), was offered as part of the first-year Introduction to Architectural Engineering (AE) classes at two universities. VADERs will ultimately be a collection of modules that are designed to improve student engagement and diversity-awareness by providing interactive virtual explorations of an engineering discipline and its sub-disciplines. VADERs utilize an open source, device-agnostic, and browser-based three-dimensional Virtual Reality (VR) platform, creating unique accessibility, synchronous social affordances, and media asset flexibility. The conjecture explored in this paper is: Having first-year engineering students experience Architectural Engineering and its sub-disciplines through an interactive VADER module, will improve their self-efficacy in regards to their commitment to studying the discipline. A total of 89 students participated in the VADER pilot in Fall 2020. Complete data was collected from 67 of these participants in the form of pre- and post-surveys, and final project deliverables. Results tied to the hypothesis and recommendations for future related work are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665438513
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2021 - Lincoln, United States
Duration: Oct 13 2021Oct 16 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference2021 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Architectural Engineering
  • First-year
  • Self-efficacy
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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