UP360’s Power Engineering Virtual Training Simulator was selected as one of four Mohawk College projects greenlit by eCampus Ontario for funding as part of Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy.
While the eCampus Ontario Virtual Learning Strategy funding was established to help Ontario’s postsecondary institutions respond to the impact the COVID-19 on the education sector, post-pandemic, the innovations that come from this event will remain.
Mohawk College, a trailblazer in virtual learning, adeptly embraced the sudden shift to online education in 2020. Since then, the college’s committed faculty and staff have tirelessly curated captivating virtual and remote learning environments, complemented by an array of engaging activities. These initiatives are designed with a dual purpose: to facilitate students’ acquisition of knowledge and skills, and to provide them with abundant opportunities to effectively apply what they have learned.
Power Engineering programs play a pivotal role in preparing students for operating the critical infrastructure of commercial buildings, including compressors, boilers, and related systems. However, the eight Ontario colleges offering Power Engineering programs face challenges in acquiring the costly physical equipment, which can exceed $1 million, needed to test students’ skills during crisis situations. While replicating crisis simulations in the real world proves difficult, if not impossible, virtual reality provides a viable solution. Leading the way in this endeavor, Mohawk College is spearheading an initiative to unite subject matter experts from all eight colleges—Cambrian, Conestoga, Durham, Georgian, Fanshawe, Lambton, and St. Clair. Together, they aim to develop a Virtual Reality Simulator that can serve both as a learning tool and an assessment platform for boiler systems.
UP360 believe in the power of virtual reality to effectively train student and that’s why this project also includes working with TSSA (Technical Standards and Safety Authority) to have VR certified as a recognized mode of education delivery for Power Engineers.
This project exemplifies Mohawk’s leadership in creating VR and simulation-based experiences that better prepare students for the future. This project is being led by Dr. Marilyn Powers, Director, Academic Technology Integration & Innovation in collaboration with Cambrian, Conestoga, Durham, Georgian, Fanshawe, Lambton, and St. Clair Colleges and UP360.