The development of a teaching tool using Sketchup to enhance surveying competence at the Durban University of Technology
Stuart, Darryl George
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Surveying concepts are difficult to understand, especially when students are exposed to surveying for the first time. Surveying is best understood when linked to field applications; however, students are only exposed to surveying and related field operation procedures during practicals. Two-dimensional (2D) explanations of surveying equipment used is shown during class lectures, which makes understanding of field procedures difficult to teach and learn during normal class lectures. A new approach to lecture delivery is required to make lectures more interesting and visually stimulating via three-dimensional (3D) animated models of levelling equipment and simulation of field observations and data collection. Additionally the learning of basic surveying concepts cannot be limited to field practicals, but in conjunction with learning that takes place in the classroom. Students' ability to properly learn the correct use of surveying equipment during time-tabled practicals is limited. The students do not have sufficient time in their normal scheduled practicals to learn to use surveying equipment to the required proficiency level. The main objective of this research was to deal with these inadequacies by exposing students to (3D) animated models of surveying equipment during lectures and the corresponding field applications created within SketchUp software. Students were exposed to these animated 3D models during lectures, so that their actual field operation and application could be simulated. Quantitative analysis of the student achievement data revealed that there was a significant difference between the test scores of the control and experimental groups. Additional analysis of the developed Likert-type scale questionnaire revealed that students' had a positive attitude towards the teaching tool.