Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Departman of Architecture, Faculty of Urban Planning, Iran University Science & thecnologh, Tehran, Iran

2 Departman of Architecture, Faculty of Urban Planning, Art University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objectives: Nowadays, using technology is essential in many areas and has significant results for its users. Education is one of the areas in which the use of technology has increased its effectiveness. Educational simulations are among the potential provided by the educational technology in this area.  Simulatoins have provided various learning opportunities and experiences. Additionally, they have positive effects on the improvement of the learning quality. In technical and vocational education where most of the students’ activities practically occur in workshops, educational simulators can be used as supplementary materials for real activities in workshops by reducing the potential risks and also at a lower cost. On the one hand, according to the interior architecture curriculum, a significant part of the activities of the art students are related to the implementation of the interior decorations in indoor spaces which require the provision of the necessary materials, tools, and equipment. The art students should frequently practice workshop activities to gain the necessary skills and efficiency in the labor market. On the other hand, due to the novelty of this field of study in the technical and vocational education system, some of the art teachers may lack the required skills in practical activities and they may even use inappropriate workshop activities, such as lecturing. Therefore, determining the features of the simulators based on the underpinning curriculum can be a prerequisite for creating simulators and reducing the aforementioned challenges. The approach for developing the interior architecture curriculum is competency approach which emphasizes the learners’ job attributes and their learning outcomes. It is worth noting that this approach has three components, including knowledge, skill, and attitude which are interwoven to result in the intended outcomes for individuals. Since the competency approach focuses on the skills required by the job market, the process of learning is purposeful and the learning speed is adjusted according to the learner's characteristics. Computer training simulators, if designed in accordance with the competency approach, can achieve the desired educational goals in the field of interior architecture and serve as a complementary and effective tool for teaching workshop lessons. This complementary tool, along with workshop activities, will pave the way for interior architecture students to enter the labor market. This study intends to identify the features of computer training simulations in interior architecture education with a competency-based approach from the experts’ perspectives.
Methods: Exploratory mixed methods design (Qualitative-Quantitative) was applied using Delphi Survey. In the first stage, semi-structured interviews were conducted with experts from architecture and educational technology areas and data were analyzed through open coding and axial coding techniques.  Accordingly, using goal-content table, the researcher-made questionnaire was created. Then, the questionnaire was filled out by the experts in two stages, (exploratory and confirmatory).  Snowball sampling was applied for selecting participants in which the sample size up to the theoretical saturation was 10 individuals at the interview stage and in the stage of filling out the questionnaire it was 26 individuals.
Findings: After analyzing the data, Q factor analysis was conducted to extract the factors. Accordingly, the features of computer simulators in interior architecture education with the competency approach from the experts’ perspective include: realism based on content and pedagogical standards, capability of practice, repetition, user –friendly environment, visualization of content, various learning and assessment opportunities, interactiveness of environment and learning management, adaptation of content to educational goals and the values of professional ethics.
Conclusion: By observing the content and pedagogical standards in simulation environments which are very similar to the workshop environment, it is possible to increase the competencies of students of interior architecture. The effectiveness of practice, repetition, and tendency of the art students for doing exercises could be increased through the duplicability of the activities along with the provision of the required attractiveness. The visualization of the concepts, particularly in the cases having complexities in the implementation processes, increases the student’s perception of those concepts. By increasing the simulation capabilities, different learning opportunities provide more possibilities for art students. In addition to creating conditions for monitoring what students have learned, predicting assessment opportunities provides them with the possibility of self -assessment. Also, the interactivity of the simulator and the management of the learning process by the art students are the characteristics of the environments in which active learning takes place and causes the coordination of the learning process with the speed of student's progress. Laying emphasis on the ethical values and integrating them with the components of competency can strengthen the educational objectives in designing the activities.


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