Closing the Skills Gap: Construction and Engineering Education Using Mixed Reality - A Case Study

Wei Wu, Aaron Tesei, Steven Ayer, Jeremi London, Yupeng Luo, Venkata Gunji

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

14 Scopus citations


This research work-in-progress paper investigated the application of emerging mixed reality (MR) technology in construction and engineering education. The construction industry is facing a severe shortage of skilled workforce. As the baby boomers are retiring, the younger generation, especially college students, are often criticized for their lack of professional experience and career-specific competency. To close the skills gap and accelerate the transition of college students to competent workforce, this paper proposed a new genre of learning and professional training using MR. The main promise of the MR technology resides in its ability to augment virtual contents on top of the physical reality to facilitate tacit knowledge learning, and simulate learning activities that traditionally can only be obtained from actual professional experience. An undergraduate wood framing lab was designed as a case study to explore how students might perform in this new learning and training environment. Specifically, the case study investigated if MR would facilitate student design comprehension and transfer such understanding into the knowledge and skills needed to build the wood structure. A randomly selected student control group was given traditional paper-based construction drawings to perform the same tasks with other student groups with various visualization technology assistance. Project performance and behavior of student groups were compared to determine if there was a significant difference between the control group and the experiment groups. A pair of pre- and post-survey on MR-intervened learning experience was also conducted to explore student perceptions towards this new genre of learning and training. The research design proposed in this work-in-progress study and its preliminary results could be a good reference and foundation to future research in this arena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

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


Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Construction
  • Learning
  • Mixed reality
  • Skills
  • Workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Closing the Skills Gap: Construction and Engineering Education Using Mixed Reality - A Case Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this