Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

Curriculum or Pedagogical Innovations

Learning and Teaching Professional Competence in the Built Environment Using Serious Video Game Technology


Construction technology is a significant, foundation component of all undergraduate architecture and building related degrees in Hong Kong, indeed world-wide. This project will use the sophisticated interactive virtual reality simulation environments found in serious video game technologies to enable students to practice and demonstrate their technical skills in construction technology. Using a forensic analysis of the detailed building models represented in the game, we will provide a level of immersion and interactivity that enables professional construction knowledge and competence (e.g., skills of scheduling of work and interpreting good construction practices) to be demonstrated and assessed effectively. The simulation is driven by the construction activities that the user proposes: i.e., we set particular learning outcomes and skills for the learner(s) that we seek to develop and assess. Whilst this project is specific to building construction technology, the approach has application across many sectors of higher education, such as architecture, real estate management, surgery and process engineering where technical professional skills are taught and assessed. Thus, we are highlighting the identification and testing of competences essential to further learning in the curriculum. The gaming environment will enable effective calibration of the learning and assessment of critical competences. Whereas knowledge-based learning can quite readily be demonstrated and assessed through written and oral tests, technical and professional skills need to be demonstrated and assessed through actually undertaking activities. By providing a virtual gaming environment the learner can approach these tasks with a high degree of autonomy at a pace set by the learner.

Principal Investigator

Professor S.M. Rowlinson, Department of Real Estate and Construction, Faculty of Architecture Contact

Project level

Programme-level project

Project Completion

September 2016


The project deliverables are three-fold:

    Curriculum and T&L:

  • Interactive SVGs that enable students to practice and demonstrate their technical skills and understanding of building construction technology.
  • Video for SVG 1 – Falsework Download
    Video for SVG 2 – Column Download
    Video for SVG 3 – Fire Safety by Prevention Download
    Video for SVG 4 – Sprinkler Download
    Video for SVG 5 – Smoke Detector Download

  • The construction site simulation has been developed with the collaboration of a major construction contractor and there is scope for further collaboration and developments in order to benefit both the University and the industry as a whole.
  • The SVGs that have been developed are suitable for use at both BSc and MSc level. Although initially designed with BSc Surveying students in mind they can be easily adapted and used by other students of the built environment within the faculty of architecture and also within the faculty of engineering. Additionally, there is scope for sharing such resources with other universities and, specifically in this instance, UNSW in Sydney.
    Student Learning:

  • Case study evaluation of the integrated framework for game-based learning development as articulated by the Serious Game Institute, UK and tested within the context of a learner-centric ecology of resources by pre- and post- SVG use tests of learners’ attention, engagement and performance in terms of construction technology competences.
  • A climate fostering self-paced, independent and reflective learning that enhances students’ engagement with learning activities.
    Research Evidence:

  • A survey of student responses to the usefulness and viability of SVG technology in undergraduate programs which helps validate the approach to learning and assessment more generally.