The Vice President of Products at Simio LLC, David T. Sturrock, is excited to announce Simio's partnership with the Pennsylvania State University's engineering research team to create and utilize 3D virtual learning environments for learners. The research aims to create 3D virtual reality environments in engineering settings that immerse learners in complex real-world problems using simulation models instead of utilizing conventional problem-based learning initiatives. This research aligns perfectly with Simio's vision of becoming the leading process digital twin solution for improving the design and operation of complex systems.
The project goals include addressing: the paucity of scientific evidence regarding novel learning environments enabled by immersive simulations in STEM education and the lack of evidence regarding the contribution of virtual reality, against the use of simulations on 2D displays, to STEM education. The project also intends to recreate virtual environments of real-world engineering facilities to breach the geographical, logistics, and lack of access gap that prohibits contextualized learning in STEM education.
The immersive simulation modules will be available to online and resident students across the graduate, professional, four- year, and two-year college levels. This spread intends to ensure assessment data can be captured across the different categories of students participating in STEM education.
Ashkan Negahban, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Engineering Management, stated that "the research design will be framed by an information processing approach to learning theory, constructivism theory, self-determination theory, and adult learning theory." He added that data will be collected from students enrolled in online courses and resident students while an assessment plan consisting of formative and summative tests will be provided. This assessment plan will make it possible to measure the effectiveness and impact of traditional vs. immersive simulation problem-based learning modules to learners.
The assessment plan will provide insight into how the use of virtual reality alters the effectiveness of problem-based learning via simulations for learning critical skills. It will assess the effectiveness of problem-based learning via complex real-world simulations in preparing learners for the physical workplace.
"A one-size-fits-all approach to STEM education isn't enough to prepare students for the ongoing digital transformations taking place in today's workspaces," said David T. Sturrock. "This project will advance conventional problem-based learning approaches while teaching learners the relevant skills that prepare them for a workforce defined by emerging technologies. We're excited to apply Simio's digital twin solutions and virtual reality capabilities to support this innovative approach to STEM education, as well as help personalize problem-based learning for both educators and students."
The project is funded by the HER Core Research Program through its standard grant award instrument. The project is expected to run from June 2020 to May 31, 2023.
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Original Source: Simio Announces Partnership With the Pennsylvania State University to Research the Impact of Immersive Virtual Learning Environments to STEM Education