ITcon Vol. 16, pg. 119-134, http://www.itcon.org/2011/8

Game-based trench safety education: development and lessons learned

submitted:March 2010
revised:September 2010
published:January 2011
editor(s):Turk Z
authors:John K. Dickinson, Ph.D., P.Eng.,
National Research Council of Canada, Centre for Computer-assisted Construction Technology;
John.Dickinson@nrc.gc.ca and http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/irc/ccct/index.html

Paul Woodard, Ph.D.,
National Research Council of Canada, Centre for Computer-assisted Construction Technology;
Paul.Woodard@nrc.gc.ca

Roberto Canas, Ph.D.,
National Research Council of Canada, Centre for Computer-assisted Construction Technology;
Roberto.Canas@nrc.gc.ca

Shafee Ahamed, M.A.Sc
National Research Council of Canada, Centre for Computer-assisted Construction Technology; Shafee.
Ahamed@nrc.gc.ca

Doug Lockston,
Conestoga College School of Trades and Apprenticeship;
dlockston@conestogac.on.ca
summary:In collaboration with a college teaching construction trades, the authors engaged in developing and deploying a serious game focussed on teaching trench health and safety lessons as an initial investigation into applying edutainment in the construction trades. This paper reviews the background of using interactive technology in construction trades training and presents the observations taken from the developers, teachers and students involved and subsequent conclusions drawn based on these observations. The broad lessons learnt indicate that serious games offer an engaging and innovative medium for delivering training to students who are more comfortable with hands-on learning for a hands-on trade. Although studies are still underway in assessing the long term benefits in retention, the students and teachers involved found the use of gaming technology to be an overall positive experience with some immediately demonstrable benefits. Furthermore, the potential for adopting serious games in educational programs will only grow as interactive computer technology only becomes more and more ubiquitous in society. This said, challenges remain in measuring the long term impact, and costs associated with developing and delivering the interactive content to the students and subsequently finding ways to reduce those costs and maximise the positive benefits attained using such technology.
keywords:serious games, edutainment, health and safety training, trench safety, knowledge transfer, visualization.
full text: (PDF file, 0.599 MB)
citation:John K Dickinson, Paul Woodard, Roberto Canas, Shafee Ahamed, Doug Lockston (2011). Game-based trench safety education: development and lessons learned, ITcon Vol. 16, Special issue Use of Gaming Technology in Architecture, Engineering and Construction, pg. 119-134, http://www.itcon.org/2011/8