The role of virtual reality in built environment education

Margaret Horne, Emine Mine Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study builds upon previous research on the integration of Virtual Reality (VR) within the built environment curriculum and aims to investigate the role of VR and three-dimensional (3D) computer modelling on learning and teaching in a school of the built environment. In order to achieve this aim, a number of academic experiences were analysed to explore the applicability and viability of 3D computer modelling and VR into built environment subject areas. Although two-dimensional (2D) representations have been greatly accepted by built environment professions and education, 3D computer representations and VR applications, offering interactivity and immersiveness, are not yet widely accepted. The study attempts to understand the values and challenges of integrating visualisation technologies into built environment teaching and investigates tutors’ perceptions, opinions and concerns with respect to these technologies. The study reports on the integration process and considers how 3D computer modelling and VR technologies can combine with, and extend, the existing range of learning and teaching methods appropriate to different disciplines and programme areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-24
JournalJournal for Education in the Built Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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