City College Plymouth uses virtual reality for hazard-spotting construction training

Authored by Mary
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 22:09

The Moment, the film and immersive division of The Creative Engagement Group, has partnered with City College Plymouth and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to enhance student engagement with the construction industry.

Tailored for both further and higher education, the immersive learning solution provides invaluable, engaging Health and Safety training for times when access to a real construction site isn’t available.

Virtual Reality (VR) games such as the Bond-influenced I Expect You To Die and robot dystopia Job Simulator influenced the design of a VR walkthrough of a building site and its typical potential dangers.

The VR training experience bridges the skill/experience gap intrinsic in the construction industry. The experience, which used Unity with 3DS Max, allows students to travel independently around a digital building site and prevent or avoid hazards and accidents.

It will be used in a similiar way to the Hazard Perception test for driving, but in more detail and with greater interactivity, as a competency test to gauge knowledge retention.

CITB has awarded £3.3m to fund seven projects to increase the uptake and adoption of immersive learning among construction employers. The Moment partnered with City College Plymouth to address the problem of students’ restricted onsite access, so the immersive capability of VR made it the ideal platform.

This Health and Safety training experience follows The Moment’s earlier delivery of a similar VR experience aimed at helping CITB and City College to attract a more diverse range of talent into the construction industry.

Andy Parkin, Managing Partner at The Moment, said: “This has been an exemplar project which has defined the very best practices of stakeholder collaboration, enabling us to develop an innovative and sector leading Virtual Reality Site Experience.  The level of stakeholder engagement at each key stage has not only been incredibly supportive, but allowed us to shape a solution that will meet the demands of contemporary learning delivery and uniquely transfer knowledge via a medium that previously has been unavailable to the construction industry.”

Lance Chatfield, Academy Manager at City College, said “This project has been a first for City College Plymouth in many forms. The CITB funding has helped us to develop a new way of bringing teaching and learning to life through virtual reality, engage with local construction and civil engineering companies in the local region and beyond, and develop a key collaboration between engineering at the College and an industry sector we wouldn’t normally be associated with through The Moment’s immersive di

VR in action.JPG
vision. Teaching and learning through immersive learning will become a key feature in curriculum planning within colleges and universities across the globe in the next ten years, and we are proud to say that we are leading the way in the engineering sector.”

Nathaniel Cooke, Assistant Fund Manager at CITB, said: “Virtual and augmented reality technologies are the next big disruptor for the training sector, and nowhere stands to benefit more from this than construction. Using CITB’s investment, City College Plymougth and The Moment are showing the enormous potential when learners and the right cutting edge, high quality VR content come together in innovative ways.”

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