Development of an educational video game for the teaching of landscape grading principles

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Landscape grading is a highly critical topic in the landscape architecture curriculum, which provides crucial skills for students, such as three dimensional visual imagination, critical thinking, management and problem solving. This research aims to develop an educational video game as a learning support tool that helps undergraduate landscape architecture students to acquire the essential knowledge and skills for the basics of landscape grading. In addition, this research focuses on support-ing the conventional education system by assisting students to gain essential knowledge and skills through achieving the given well-designed learning tasks. In order to enhance motivation and increase learning rate, this educational video game helps students to practice: (1) understanding of the contour map and its rules, (2) identifying the signature landforms and slope shapes, and (3) preparing landscape grading projects to solve storm water drainage problems. This research aims to facilitate the learning of landscape grading topics by visualizing the textual curriculum with three-dimensional models, instructional images and animations. This research also aims to engage students in the learning of landscape grading topics by employing the game mechanics by blending the conventional teaching tools with the opportunities of the gaming technologies. Moreover, the proposed video game presents an immersive self-oriented learning environment that allows students to learn actively by accessing information in a hyperlinked network rather than being listeners of streaming information. The importance of this research lies in the use of existing digital technologies to enhance the learning rate for landscape architecture education as a response of literature deficiency in landscape architecture. In this research, three problem-based learning scenarios were created based on the curriculum and di-vided into instructional and training tasks. The instructional tasks refer to the tutorial tasks, which focus on increasing the understanding and learning of content and encouraging students to engage themselves in the learning process by explaining through the clearly and well-defined instructions. The training tasks allow students to exercise in curricular topics by achieving the given tasks. In addition, the diffi-culty level of training tasks steps up gradually and mentoring support is reduced to help students to increase expertise on given topics. Afterwards, a three-dimensional educational video game was created based on the learning scenarios by re-programming the OpenSimulator software using the LSL scripting language. A three-phased experimental study was conducted in order to overcome the deficiencies identified through evaluations of the prior study; the authors have improved the software. The new improved version was tested on two randomly selected groups (n=32) (control and experiment) of undergraduate landscape architecture students at Istanbul Technical University in order to evaluate the pedagogical and instructional effects of the proposed video game. As a result of the gathered qualitative and quan-titative data, two-tailed paired samples t-test revealed that the experimental group scored 15.42 % higher points (m = 47.1800, s = 9.17499) compared to the control group (m = 31.7667, s = 4.62667), t(2) = 2.030, p≤.05.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Digital Landscape Architecture
Volume2016
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Wichmann Verlag, VDE VERLAG GMBH.

Keywords

  • Landscape architecture education
  • Landscape grading
  • Virtual learning environments

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