Software Solutions to Streamline Operational Processes; Virtual Reality as a Tool for Education

Zheng, Ivan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Earle, Joshua, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

The technical project, completed during a software engineering internship, focused on the integration and utilization of software technologies to streamline operational processes within an IT firm. The projects included developing an Internal Staff Directory, a Weekly Reporting System using Microsoft Power Platform, and a Platform Migration of the company’s consumer-facing website to Drupal Content Management System (CMS). These projects were identified after analyzing existing pain points within the company. There was a lack of a centralized system in place to streamline response in events of employment, contract, or inventory changes which inspired the Internal Staff Directory, Managers would manually go through and compile aggregated weekly reports from their teams which inspired the Weekly Reporting System, and the Platform Migration had been on the company’s list of projects for a long time.
The findings from the technical project revealed that software development could significantly enhance internal operations within companies. For example, the Internal Staff Directory was able to allow for better management of employee information, while the Weekly Reporting system partially automated the task of report compilation, reducing manual labor and potential for errors.
Through the platform migration to Drupal CMS, the creation of an automated Weekly Reporting System, and the development of an Internal Staff Directory, the intern team successfully laid a foundational framework for enhancing operational efficiency and data management within the company. These projects enabled me to gain experience in making Software apps that can benefit others and furthered my technical skills and knowledge.

The sociotechnical paper explores the implications of Virtual Reality (VR) technology within educational settings, investigating how it has transformed learning experiences across various fields. VR’s capabilities are used to create engaging and interactive educational environments, allowing for experimental learning and immersive training scenarios. This paper focuses on three specific industries, VR’s impact in healthcare for medical training, in the military for strategy and combat simulations, and K-12 education for enhancing interactive learning. Each sector benefits differently from VR, demonstrating the versatility of the technology and its transformative potential.
A major interaction discussed within the paper involves the benefits, effectiveness, and challenges, the shift from traditional learning methods to VR-enabled learning has posed. This aspect is analyzed for each industry explored within the paper which gives a holistic overview of the VR educational landscape.
Despite, all the benefits that have been observed with VR as an educational tool there exist challenges such as technological limitations, development costs, and ethical considerations in sensitive settings like healthcare and military to realize the power of VR education fully. The future of VR in education is promising, with ongoing research focusing on enhancing interaction, realism, and user engagement. Innovations such as multi-user environments for collaborative learning, adaptive learning systems powered by artificial intelligence, and cross-platform accessibility are just the beginning. Embracing these advancements, VR is poised to offer unprecedented opportunities for personal growth, professional development, and societal progress, marking a new era in educational technology.

The technical and sociotechnical projects relate through the common theme of the transformative potential technology has in professional and educational contexts to make lives better. The technical project highlighted how software solutions can be utilized to streamline and enhance business and internal processes through centralized systems and automation. The sociotechnical project illustrated the profound impact VR has had on educational practices across various industries by allowing for more immersive educational methods and safer/cost-effective alternatives to real-life simulations.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
VR, Virtual Reality, Education, VR Education

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Joshua Earle

STS Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman

Technical Team Members: Ivan Zheng

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: