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Meeting MS&T21: Materials Science & Technology
Symposium Online Teaching Best Practices for the COVID Era and Beyond
Presentation Title Photonics Workforce Training Using Game-based Learning and Interactive Desktop Simulations
Author(s) Erik Verlage
On-Site Speaker (Planned) Erik Verlage
Abstract Scope The Virtual Manufacturing Lab (VM-Lab) at MIT is addressing a severe lack of photonics engineers and technicians by developing digital workforce training tools to promote and enhance online learning curricula. By targeting knowledge gaps in advanced manufacturing industries, this effort aims to rapidly reskill and upskill the current manufacturing workforce. Interactive simulations and games have been shown to increase engagement and motivate learning in massive open online courses. VM-Lab explores a three-pronged digital learning approach to train technician and engineering audiences using (i) application-focused games, (ii) novel photonics data visualizations, and (iii) desktop-VR tool-training simulations. A holistic approach of interleaving all three learning modes drives student motivation by building intuition and connecting procedural skill acquisition to observations of real-world technology implementation. Blended learning boot camps, as well as formative/summative assessment interviews, demonstrate the viability of scaling these interactive games and simulations for widespread use in future training programs.
Proceedings Inclusion? Planned: None Selected


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Photonics Workforce Training Using Game-based Learning and Interactive Desktop Simulations
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