About the Project Serious Games for Low Energy Building Construction Worker Training

This study aims to explore the possibilities of whether upskilling training can be delivered more successfully through the use of serious games, rather than with traditional methods. This research is focused on the effectiveness for the training of construction skills and the capacity for effecting attitudinal change. Additionally, the research will explore the opportunities provided by serious games in building on the characteristics of the typical construction learner in the development of learning resources.

This involved researching the effectiveness of serious games, with a particular focus on the affective domain. This study focused on a pedagogical approach that would best address the identified knowledge gaps and the need for attitudinal change amongst construction workers. The expected date of completion is October 1st, 2020.


The Team

Ms Lauren Maher

Lauren is a researcher for TU Dublin, Blanchardstown campus. Her research is focused on creating a ‘serious game’ to deliver skill-based training to construction-based learners. She holds a first-class honours degree from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. Lauren has always had an interest in using video games as educational and learning tools. In 2018 she created, tested and launched a children’s interactive story app to help children understand and cope with bereavement. Her research interests include interactive storytelling, serious games, and interactive media.

Mr Shaun Ferns

Shaun is a lecturer at Technological University Dublin. He is currently teaching on the BA (Hons) in Creative Digital Media where he is lead in the delivery of the Multimedia modules. He has previously played an active role in teaching, research, academic assessment, course development and the academic direction of several courses including; BS(Hons) in Energy Systems and Industrial Automation & BS in Sustainable Electrical and Control Technology. He is currently exploring serious games for construction related training as well as the opportunities trans-media provides in improving user experience and engagement in cultural archive artifacts. His educational research is currently driven by his interest in self-determined learning (heutagogy), previously he has published in areas which include flexible modes of delivery, assessment (peer & self), and active learning strategies.

Dr Matt Smith

Matt is a Senior Lecturer in Computing in the Department of Informatics, Blanchardstown Campus, TU Dublin. Matt has over 25 years lecturing and research experience at colleges including ITB, Middlesex University, the University of Winchester, the Open University and Aberdeen University. Matt holds a taught masters in Applied Artificial Intelligence and a doctorate in applied artificial intelligence and interactive music education research. Matt has published in these fields in internationally referred book chapters and conference papers, has chaired international research conference workshops and was lead editor of a collected edition of multimedia research papers. His main research areas are multimedia education systems and the use of IT to support informal learning. Matt has worked in these fields as a research consultant for UK universities and the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency. Matt has also worked in industry as a programmer-analyst, technical author, trainer and database developer. At ITB, Matt has pioneered the use of Unity game authoring as a means of imparting multimedia and programming skills to undergraduate students (updating things from previous use of Macromedia Flash). One of the European projects he has worked on involves Java mobile phone games and computing science education.

Mr Mark Keyes

Mark has been employed at TU Dublin – Blanchardstown Campus since 2009, initially as a lecturer and currently as Work Placement Coordinator. With a background of over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry, he has been active in the development and delivery of up-skilling programmes in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy and building retrofit. Since 2011, he has managed a number EU funded project activities, including Build UP Skills Ireland (BUSI) and QualiBuild, where he led work packages developing up-skilling programmes for construction workers in the field of low energy buildings. Mark is currently responsible for coordinating Learn + Work programmes at TU Dublin, an innovative model of training designed in collaboration with industry. His research interests include active learning and the enhancement of learning via interactive/ multi-modal digital resources. Mark is a qualified Building Technician and holds a Diploma in Arts (Training & Education) from NUI Galway and an MSc in Applied eLearning from DIT.