Internet-Based Interactive Construction Management Learning System

Abstract

The Del E. Webb School of Construction is currently involved in a three-year project aimed at enhancing the construction management education. The primary undertaking of this project—in its second year—is to incorporate practical content in the construction curricula thus bridging the gap between the classroom and the construction site. Enhancements are being accomplished by developing 1) an Internet-based Interactive Construction Management Learning System (ICMLS) and 2) an advising and mentorship program that will enhance practitioner-involvement. The Interactive Learning System uses interactive and adaptive learning environments to train students in the areas of construction methods, equipment and processes. This system is being developed using multimedia; Internet based computing; Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML); databases; and discrete-event simulation. This paper will provide an update on the design, development and implementation of ICMLS. Lessons learned and tools utilized that may be helpful in other branches of engineering and non-engineering fields will be described. The project team envisions that the successful completion of this project will lead to a number of benefits including: 1) improved recruitment, retention, and program completion for the construction management program; 2) “jobready” graduates that can be successfully employed in the construction industry; and 3) enhanced practitioner involvement and construction industry input. Introduction and Background Preparing students for the challenges of managing large construction projects is an important responsibility and a difficult task. The instruction methods used in the majority of construction engineering and management curricula rely, for the most part, on traditional methods such as exposing students to applied science courses. These traditional teaching methods, however, are often not fully adequate in providing students with all the skills necessary to solve the real world problems that are encountered in the construction industry. Furthermore, complex engineering knowledge is also not conveyed effectively. This is partly due to the fact that curricula often use a series of courses to convey knowledge in fragments . Complementing the more conventional classroom instructional tools would, ideally, include visits to construction sites or site training. There are, however, various complicating issues that make it impossible to rely on site visits. Most importantly, the instructor cannot control the availability of a project at the necessary stage of completion. Also, visits of larger groups to construction sites may not be welcome, involve risk, and are unpractical. Finally, the high cost of site training is a further impediment to its extensive use for construction education . General computing and information technologies, and simulation in particular, have the potential to act as priceless to complement construction engineering and management education. The authors, motivated by this, have undertaken this research project that addresses the above-mentioned issue. The paper describes the Internet based Interactive Construction Management Learning System (ICMLS) that is being developed as part of a three-year project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Arizona State University (ASU).

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Sawhney2000InternetBasedIC, title={Internet-Based Interactive Construction Management Learning System}, author={Anil Sawhney and Jeremy Koczenasz and Brad Bashford and Andr{\'e} Mund}, year={2000} }