HydroVR: Avatar-based teaching and learning in engineering hydrology with virtual scenarios


Digifellowship 2022


As part of a project funded by the BMBF, the MyScore project is currently developing open source software and open educational resources to provide teaching and learning scenarios for general use in university teaching with the help of avatars in virtual reality. The project was awarded a Comenius seal in 2021.

Avatar-based teaching and learning basically supports the following three goals:

  • Enabling virtual mobility for teachers and students.
  • Acquisition of communication and conflict resolution skills through VR role plays
  • Realization of virtual labs

Within the framework of the Digifellowship 2022, this software will be extended so that students of the water subjects in the field of civil and environmental engineering as well as the master's program Sustainable Management - Water and Energy will have the opportunity to experience, explore and ultimately internalize as well as learn about river basin landscapes in virtual reality.

In the context of the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive to achieve a good ecological status in our waters, the river basin landscapes play a crucial role. Students need to internalize the regionally different morphological characteristics as well as habitat conditions in order to make meaningful future decisions for the development of the watercourses.

What to do? Travel to all river basin types in the Federal Republic and gain an impression of them on site? That is hardly possible. But it is certainly possible for us to use our software to recreate these river basin landscapes and river basin types in VR and make it possible for students to experience them via avatar.

"Within the framework of the Digifellowship, we will consequently develop river basin types in 3D, code interactions with water elements, such as typical bed material, guiding fish and water structures in Unity and integrate the resulting settings into the regular operation of our teaching," says Professor Heribert Nacken, head of the Teaching and Research Field Engineering Hydrology and of the VR team.

If interested in an exchange or trial use of the MyScore software, contact directly.

For more information, visit the MyScore project homepage.