iVisit-Collaborate: Collaborative problem-solving in multiuser 360-degree panoramic site visits

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering; College of Business


Collaborative problem-solving skills are required from learners in the 21st century, particularly in construction graduates upon entering the workforce. However, challenges associated with spatiotemporal contexts of construction sites and resource limitations of educational programs reduce the opportunities available for students to practice these skills. This study focuses on using 360-degree panoramic virtual environments enhanced with virtual humans to produce realistic site visits for practicing collaborative problem-solving opportunities (iVisit-Collaborate). The goal of this phenomenological research study is to understand the collaborative problem-solving process of student dyads within iVisit-Collaborate. The findings suggest that student collaborative behaviors did not directly result in successful problem-solving. A hierarchical relationship between student problem-solving and collaborative behaviors was observed, indicating that problem-solving behaviors must take place to enable the occurrence of collaborative behaviors. Moreover, it was also observed that instructor scaffolding helped reduce the degrees of freedom in complex problem-solving activities. Finally, it was observed that student discussion engagement supported the creation and maintenance of shared mental models.

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Computers and Education