Techniques of virtual reality (VR) were applied on the development of models related to the construction activity within Civil Engineering education context. The interaction allowed by 3D geometric models could make an end to passive attitudes of learners as an opposition to traditional teaching systems. In addition, VR technology could be applied as a complement to three-dimensional (3D) modeling, leading to a better communication between the various stakeholders in the process, whether in training, in education or in professional practice. The implemented models, showing construction processes of walls of buildings and bridges, allow the visualization of the physical progression of the work following a planned construction sequence, observation of details of the form of every component of the works and carrying the study of the type and method of operation of the equipment applied in the construction. Another didactic model supports student to draw up plan drawings of roofs and the correspondent 3D model, tasks which relies on an understanding of the three-dimensional nature of the respective constructive process. In the rehabilitation of buildings, 3D models helps the outcome of the building anomalies, to better understand the geometry of the environment where the rehabilitation is going to take place, to quantify the amount of work needed and to evaluate different alternative of rehabilitation. The main objective of the practical application of the models is to support class-based learning and they are adequate to be used in distance training based on e-learning platform technology. The involvement of VR techniques in the development of educational applications brings new perspectives to Engineering education.
Key words: Virtual reality, construction, engineering education, 3D models.
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