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Adopting immersive technologies in construction training: determining educational decision-making criteria through a Delphi technique

Laura Gutierrez-Bucheli (Department of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Jian Tsen Goh (Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Ali Rashidi (Department of Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia) (Future Building Initiative, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Duncan Maxwell (Future Building Initiative, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Ross Digby (Holmesglen Institute of TAFE – Chadstone Campus, Melbourne, Australia)
Yihai Fang (Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Henry Pook (Holmesglen Institute of TAFE – Chadstone Campus, Melbourne, Australia)
Mehrdad Arashpour (Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 27 February 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

In the realm of construction education, the investigation of immersive learning and extended reality (XR) technologies has experienced a surge in recent times. Nevertheless, there remains a notable lack of comprehension surrounding the most efficient ways to integrate these technologies into tailored teaching approaches for vocational construction training. This research study aims to pinpoint the key factors that construction vocational education and training (VET) providers must consider when introducing XR technologies into their training schemes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted an in-depth literature review to develop an initial framework to summarise training, technology and institutional factors influencing the educational-technology integration of XR technologies in VET. In addition, this study utilised a Delphi technique, including semi-structured group discussions and two rounds of online follow-up questionnaires, to capture VET experts’ judgements on the importance of decision-making criteria.

Findings

This study has identified the critical factors to be considered in the VET sector when adopting XR technologies. Findings revealed institutional factors were the most important criteria for participants, followed by training and technology factors.

Research limitations/implications

The current decision-making process focuses on selecting XR technologies rather than evaluating their performance after implementation. Therefore, more research is needed to monitor the implementation of this technology in curricula from a senior management perspective. This will help to understand the cost and value factors related to the value proposition of XR technologies in courses.

Practical implications

To ensure the success and long-term viability of the technology-curriculum interface, it is important to consider factors such as the availability of technical and educational support, data security and cost-effectiveness. It is also crucial to focus on ease of use and content development that emphasises instruction to create engaging content for learners.

Originality/value

The potential impact of this study is underpinned by two facts: (1) it constitutes the first effort made in the field to comprehensively elicit VET expert judgements in relation to XR technologies, and (2) it offers decision-making criteria that are at play in seeking to take advantage of high-cost technologies that are rapidly evolving. While there is no simple checklist for XR implementation, this study takes a step further to identify significant factors influencing XR integration in vocational construction training.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to all the participants who willingly shared their insights and expertise, as their contributions have significantly enriched this research. They would also like to extend their thanks to the Holmesglen Institute and Master Builders Association of Victoria for their invaluable support to B4.0 CRC Project #12, “VR/AR Technologies in Vocational Education and Training”. The authors would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Building 4.0 CRC Project #12 researchers Dr Corrie Williams, Dr Philip Alviano, Christopher Kulesza, Prof Robin Drogemuller, Dr Barret Ens, Dr Leo Rezayan, Dr Fiona Lamari, Dr Emadaldin Mohammadi Golafshani, Alan Burder and Ankit Shringi for their support and dedication throughout Project #12 under B4.0 CRC programme.

Citation

Gutierrez-Bucheli, L., Goh, J.T., Rashidi, A., Maxwell, D., Digby, R., Fang, Y., Pook, H. and Arashpour, M. (2024), "Adopting immersive technologies in construction training: determining educational decision-making criteria through a Delphi technique", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-08-2023-0202

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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